Recent Articles


Matthew Shipp: I've Been To Many Places

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In 2013 pianist Matthew Shipp, tongue firmly-in-cheek, issued Greatest Hits, which sampled his Thirsty Ear catalogue. With I've Been To Many Places, his 9th solo album, he takes a different approach to revisiting his back pages, by reprising standards and favorites from previous releases albeit this time in an unaccompanied rendition. These sit alongside a selection of newly minted originals. As is often the case with his studio sessions, conciseness is the watchword as Shipp distils an idea down to ...


Matthew Shipp: To Duke

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Unlocking the language of an avant-garde musician like Matthew Shipp can be a tough task for those new to creative music, and also for those new to the pianist's approach. He has developed a method of music making that draws from classical music, free jazz, and the energies of electronic music. With a discography pushing into the hundreds, where to start and what to listen to is always the question. A musical detective might start with his early recordings with ...


Matthew Shipp: I've Been To Many Places

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But is it Jazz? That question gets lobbed at pianist Matthew Shipp's music all the time. Perhaps, “propelled" or “launched" are better terms. His approach to music, whether working with saxophonists David S. Ware and Ivo Perelman or with DJs, is to play authentic music, that which is a bona fide representation of his nature, or better yet his soul. This solo offering, I've Been To Many Places delves deep into that spirit and does (depending on where you stand) ...


A Matthew Shipp Appreciation from Yuko Otomo

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I'm always looking to introduce new people to The All About Jazz readership. Yuko Otomo provided an appreciation of Matthew Shipp from her perspective as a poet and visual artist. Let Ms. Otomo take it from here. Recently, I re-read Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Wassily Kandinsky. I don't remember how many times I've read this book. There are a few Bible-like books and writings (on art) that I return to whenever I have a ...


The Core Trio with Matthew Shipp: The Core Trio With Matthew Shipp

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One trio. One guest. A single, forty-two minute, freely improvised piece. That's what you basically have here, but such a bare description doesn't do it justice. The Core Trio--a group that has yet to actually record as a stand-alone trio--has an interesting history that seems to always revolve around personnel twists. The group came to exist as a three-piece when the members of an avant-garde quartet called Rosta decided to disband, but that was just the first ...


Your Shipp Has Come In

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These two guest appearances demonstrate that pianist Matthew Shipp has become an elder statesman in the jazz world. How that happened can be boiled down to two simple elements. One: he has created a unique sound and language for improvised music and two: Shipp has become a doyen of cutting edge music making and opinion. Perhaps all of this could be foretold from his early apprenticeship in David S. Ware and Roscoe Mitchell's bands, and his collaborations with ...


Jeff Cosgrove: Alternating Current

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"Playing music is like doing heart surgery," bassist William Parker told interviewer Radhika Philiip in Being Here: Conversations on Creating Music (, 2013). “Every time you hit a note, someone's life is on the line, and so you can't fool around." Serious intent and intense focus are the cornerstones of these playful dialogues between Parker, drummer Jeff Cosgrove and pianist Matthew Shipp. A similar approach is also recommended in approaching this music--background noise it ain't. Drummer Andrew Cyrille--to ...


Matthew Shipp Trio: Root Of Things

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The third album by pianist Matthew Shipp's trio with bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Whit Dickey persuades as their strongest yet, no mean feat after the live disc included on The Art Of The Improviser (Thirsty Ear, 2011) and Elastic Aspects (Thirsty Ear, 2012). Over the six cuts from this 2013 studio session they restate their case to be considered one of the premier contemporary piano threesomes, supremely cohesive and thoroughly convincing in Shipp's unique idiom combining insistent themes, darkly ...


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