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Artist Profiles

Matthew Shipp: Tripling the Play

By Published: July 22, 2007
Shipp's observation implies that he is attaining his goal. When non-teetering, ecstatic moments of a penultimate set of harmonic vibrations cross his path, he can hear it; he knows he can replicate the process because it is now inscribed in his genes. "The solo things" can intertwine with "the trio things" and the trio things can intertwine with the solo things and the universe can be one.

Matthew Shipp Just as in a trio setting, when Shipp performs alone, he seeks to merge with the human element that exists outside of his own musician-instrument amalgam. Although the symbiotic relationship he secures with fellow musicians "is impossible to explain," Shipp establishes a relationship with his audience he needs in order "to complete the circuitry." He needs "his language to come alive in someone else's energy field."

"Jazz is a linear art," Shipp proclaims. The musical lines within jazz ceaselessly converge and dissipate and are continuous; they have "weight and density, grace and beauty."

When, with unswerving vibrancy, Shipp's language swells from the keyboard into multiplicities of ambient radiance, the resultant wave configuration can be imagined, with difficulty, in the physical sense. But, in the spiritual sense, the impact of his music is simply infinite, a slice of his "never-ending quest to experience eternity," a phenomenon that defies understanding, but to which Shipp can feel sure that he is coming close.

Selected Discography

Matthew Shipp, Piano Vortex (Thirsty Ear, 2007)
Matthew Shipp, One (Thirsty Ear, 2006)
Matthew Shipp, Harmony and Abyss (Thirsty Ear, 2004)
Matthew Shipp, Equilibrium (Thirsty Ear, 2003)
Matthew Shipp, Nu Bop (Thirsty Ear, 2002)
Matthew Shipp String Trio, Expansion, Power, Release (HatOLOGY, 2001)
Matthew Shipp, Songs (Splasc(H) Records, 2001)
Matthew Shipp Quintet, Pastoral Composure (Thirsty Ear, 2000)
Matthew Shipp Trio, Prism (HatOLOGY, 2000)
Matthew Shipp Duo, DNA (Thirsty Ear, 1999)
Matthew Shipp Trio, The Multiplication Table (HatHUT, 1998)

Photo Credit
Lyn Horton

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