Matthew Shipp: Nu Bop (2002)
Nu Bop finds Shipp trekking new avenues, those of a more urban culture. His transfer to this street-credible sound doesn’t suffer from fusion pains like, say Freddie Hubbard’s 1970’s pop records or Miles Davis’ covers of Michael Jackson. Shipp doesn’t get lost in the sound nor does his music suffer from repetitive beat syndrome. While employing Chris Flam’s programming and synthesizers, Shipp also adds drummer Guillermo Brown’s real-time beats and William Parker as his timekeeper. What you get is hard-hitting music with all the elements in place for out-reaching jazz.
The title track begins with a base-heavy beat before saxophonist Daniel Carter enters with a series of complex lines of thought. Carter’s flute on “X-Ray” is a thoughtful duet with Parker and “ZX-1” is a traditional Shipp statement. But this album is about popular culture, and the band returns to the music Herbie Hancock thought he was recording on his latest Future 2 Future. Shipp proves he can be funky, hip, and ultimately creative while playing the popular music of his times. He’s just as creative here as when he plays music from the fringes.
Track Listing: Space Shipp; Nu-Bop; ZX-1; D
Personnel: Matthew Shipp
Record Label: Thirsty Ear Recordings
Style: Modern Jazz