Michael Bisio: Stepping Into the Limelight
About a year ago, Matthew Shipp asked me to join his trio, which includes the great Whit Dickey. There is not a doubt in my mind that this is the finest piano trio in creative music today. Matt's leadership generates a joy every time we play that is palpable and sublime. The first documentation of the trio, our second concert, is included in a live double-CD set of Matthew's work. The Art Of the Improviser (Thirsty Ear, 2011), which has just been released. On January 13 , we played at Iridium in NYC. The beginning of February marked a European tour and there are dates throughout the northeastern United States in March.
I have just completed my first solo effort, Travel Music (Self Produced, 2011). This is a very exciting project for me and the first I hav e decided to oversee every aspect of its production. It was recorded beautifully by Ted Orr at Sertso Studios in Woodstock, NY during two sessions one month apart. The reaction of friends who have heard it is very encouraging. It is now available.
AAJ: I know you don't really like the term "free," as applied to your music. Could you tell us what bothers you about the word, and how the music is best described?
MB: You are right. I don't like the term in relation to my music. There is of course nothing wrong with the word itself. The problem for me is it has become a term used to marginalize the music and the artists.
In some perverse way, the term has been used for both charlatan and genius practitioners. There is obviously an immense difference. Why the same word? To me free, at its best, implies the largest amount of responsibility, because there is really only freedom of choice. An artist needs as large a vocabulary as possible to be able to express as exactly as possible what is in his or her heart, mind, spirit and body.
AAJ: What do you see happening in the music as it evolves? Where do you see the music going in the next 20 years?
MB: Music, for me ,is about the act of creation, the positive sounds, energy, feeling and healing released at the point of departure. I don't have an idea about how music will evolve. But I am pretty comfortable being part of the evolution of the revolution in music. No matter where it goes, I believe these attributes will always be at the center for me.
Michael Bisio, Travel Music (MJB, 2011)
Bob Gluck, Returning (FMR, 2011)
Matthew Shipp, The Art of the Improviser (Thirsty Ear, 2011)
Thomas Ulrich's Cargo Cult, Discoveries (CIMP, 2011)
SKM, Three (Clean Feed, 2010)
Connie Crothers & Michael Bisio, Session at 475 Kent (Mutable Music, 2010)
Thomas Ulrich's Cargo Cult, Lonely House (CIMP, 2010)
David Arner, Porgy and Bess, Act One, Act Two (Cadence 2009, 2010)
Joe McPhee, Angels, Devils and Haints (Cadence, 2009)
Michael Bisio, Collar City Creatology (MJB, 2009)
Michael Bisio, Live at Vision Fest. XII (Not Two, 2009)
Thomas Ulrich's Cargo Cult, Thomas Ulrich's Cargo Cult (CIMP, 2009)
Michael Bisio, AM (CIMP, 2009)
Stephen Gauci, Basso Continuo (Clean Feed, 2008)
Michael Bisio, Connections (CIMP, 2005)
John Heward, Let Them Pass (Drimala, 2004)
Michael Bisio, Composance (Cadence, 2004)
Joe McPhee, Let Paul Robeson Sing (CIMP 2002)
Joe Giardullo, Shadow and Light (Drimala, 2002)
Michael Bisio, Undulations (Omnitone, 2000)
Joe McPhee & Michael Bisio, Zebulon (CIMP, 1999)
Joe McPhee & Michael Bisio, Finger Wigglers (CIMP, 1997)
Michael Bisio, Covert Choreography (Cadence, 1996)
Joe McPhee, Common Threads (Deep Listening, 1996)