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Matthew Shipp: Greatest Hits (2013)

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Matthew Shipp: Greatest Hits How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

"Greatest Hits" compilations are not releases normally associated with jazz musicians, and especially not with pianist as decidedly avant-garde as Matthew Shipp.

Shipp explains that "My impetus for creating this CD was that I have a vast catalogue which I don't think the jazz world has started to absorb yet. I selected the tunes by which ones stood out in reviews of my CDs, which tunes had received the most airplay, or compositions I had received the most feedback on from friends and fans alike."

As such, it is an introduction—and an able one, a window into Shipp's compositional soul.

An almost militaristic drum roll mark the beginning of "Gesture," and commences a sonic journey through Greatest Hits, a splendid collection that pairs Shipp with such accomplished bassist as William Parker
William Parker
William Parker
b.1952
bass, acoustic
and Michael Bisio
Michael Bisio
Michael Bisio

bass, acoustic
, and drummers of the quality of Whit Dickey
Whit Dickey
Whit Dickey

drums
. The twelve tracks, taken from eleven different CDs, travel through different sonic universes. "Module" and "4D " provide a window into his solo space, always evocative and frequently meditational. Others, such as "Cohesion," add synthesizers and programming for effect. Horn tracks are limited, but trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith
Wadada Leo Smith
Wadada Leo Smith
b.1941
trumpet
and saxophonist/flautist Daniel Carter
Daniel Carter
Daniel Carter
b.1996
sax, alto
each join Shipp on a track. It all draws to a close with "Circular Temple #1," from the double-disc trio/solo outing, Art of the Improviser (Thirsty Ear, 2011).

All in all, a great introduction to one of the most engaging and cutting edge pianists in the jazz world today.


Track Listing: Gesture; New Orbit; Cohesion; Module; GNG; New ID; 4D; Stage 10; Nu-Bop; Key Swing; Elastic Aspects; Circular Temple #1.

Personnel: Matthew Shipp: piano, synthesizer (6); Roy Campbell: trumpet (1); William Parker: bass (1-3, 6, 9); Gerald Cleaver: drums (1-3, 6); Wadada Leo Smith: trumpet (2); Khan Jamal: vibes (3); Flam: synthesizers, programming (3, 6, 9); Joe Morris: bass (5, 10), Whit Dickey: drums (5, 8, 10-12); Michael Bisio: bass (8, 11, 12); Daniel Carter: alto saxophone, flute (9); Guillermo E. Brown: drums (9).

Record Label: Thirsty Ear Recordings

Style: Modern Jazz


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