Matthew Shipp Trio: Harmonic Disorder (2009)
His new group with Joe Morris and Whit Dickey, which first appeared on 2007's Piano Vortex, returns with Harmonic Disorder, a set of 14 brief pieces (three under three minutes, only one tops six) that follow the graceful ease of the previous album while recalling the punch of his earliest records. The band sounds fine and is a strong vehicle for guitarist Morris' recent bass playing, but the record moves all too quickly. The calypso crawl of "Mel Chi 1," for example, barely has time to make itself known, when the band could have done so much with it. Their takes on "There Will Never Be Another You" and "Someday My Prince Will Come" invert the problem, familiar melodies barely surfacing as the tracks whiz by. The production itself feels rushed as well, lacking the label's customary crispness. It's a good album, but somehow it ends up feeling like a demo from Shipp's past.
Track Listing: GNG; There Will Never Be Another You; Harmonic Disorder; Someday My Prince Will Come; Mel Chi 2; Mr. JM; Mel Chi 1; Roe; Orb; Compost; Zo Number 2; Quantum Waves; Light; When the Curtain Falls on the Jazz Theatre.
Personnel: Matthew Shipp: piano; Joe Morris: bass; Whit Dickey: drums.
Record Label: Thirsty Ear Recordings
Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde