The Blue Series Continuum: Sorcerer Sessions (2003)
Shipp has finally come to terms with how to get the most sound out of his instruments, in this case dominated by his lovely dark, gothic voice on the piano. That was the sound that earned him recognition, and to be honest, it's his greatest strength. As on tracks like "Invisible Steps," where everyone else in the band seems content to agree, Shipp walks out on that black ice with a fearless stride. One tune later, "Particle" fractures the ice and leaves you hanging in thin air. (Studio-manipulated, mind you.)
It seems as if Shipp, bassist William Parker, and drummer Gerald Cleaver are the foundation and the skeleton upon which all the rest of this music is fleshed out. That means that violinist Roumain gets to have his voice heard loud and clear. Ziporyn takes more than a few adventures out of bounds; but they somehow merge into a textural layer atop the rest. Maybe that's FLAM, maybe that's Shipp, maybe that's some entirely spontaneous event. But this is one of the most successful jazztronic efforts by the label that more or less spawned the term. It spends its time avoiding beat-boxing and riff-raffing, two things that poison most of the modern fusions out there today. Don't go looking to shake your booty, okay?
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Track Listing: Pulsar; Keystroke; Lightforms; Urban Shadows; x6; Fixed Point; Invisible Steps; Particle; Reformation; Modulate; Last Chamber; Mist.
Personnel: Gerald Cleaver: drums; FLAM: programming and synth; William Parker: bass; Matthew Shipp: piano and synth; Daniel Bernard Roumain: violin; Evan Ziporyn: clarinet and bass clarinet.
Record Label: Thirsty Ear Recordings
Style: Modern Jazz