196

Matthew Shipp: 4D

By

Sign in to view read count
Since his emergence at the start of the 1990s, pianist Matthew Shipp seems to have fostered an infinite number of options available to him. From his free jazz alliances to his electronic beat explorations (also taking into account memberships in the groups of David S. Ware and Roscoe Mitchell), Shipp seems to like to mix it up. But periodically he releases a solo CD that functions as breathing space for him.

His last solo outing was One (Thirsty Ear, 2006), a strong set of originals, and before that Songs (2002), comprised of jazz, popular and gospel standards. For 4D, Shipp presents a set that devotes its first half to his own compositions and its second to repertoire. His originals are typically dense and knotty and though they might sound as if they're improvised, they have an inner logic. Lines contrapuntally cross, sometimes colliding into each other, melodies emerge and recede. "Equilibrium," a distinctive piece he's recorded before, pivots on a recurring motif of four chiming chords. The lovely chords that permeate "Stairs" contrast wonderfully with the dense, almost brutal chordal stabs of the preceding "Dark Matter." "Blue Web In Space" contains passages that wouldn't sound out of place in a Duke Ellington piano recital alongside plenty that would.

Shipp's kaleidoscopic handling of standards is well-known. He stretches out melodies then seems to condense all thematic material into a rush of phrases. "What Is This Thing Called Love" has a remarkable left-hand contrapuntal line, the tres fey melodie francais of "Freres Jacques" is humorously recast as a pounding Hungarian peasant folk dance à la Bartók and the brief (less than a minute) "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" is as straightforward as it gets. More so than his previous solo releases, 4D is as complete an example of Shipp's solo pianism as one could want.

Track Listing: 4D; The Crack In The Piano's Egg; Equilibrium; Teleportation; Dark Matter; Stairs; Jazz Paradox; Blue Web In Space; What Is This Thing Called Love?; Autumn Leaves; Sequence And Vibration; Frere Jacques; Prelude To A Kiss; What A Friend We Have In Jesus; Primal Harmonic; Greensleeves.

Personnel: Matthew Shipp: piano.

Title: 4D | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Thirsty Ear Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Signal 9 CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "GIO Sevens" CD/LP/Track Review GIO Sevens
by Duncan Heining
Published: September 2, 2017
Read "Migration Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Migration Blues
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "Message From Saturn" CD/LP/Track Review Message From Saturn
by James Nadal
Published: November 12, 2016
Read "Beginnings" CD/LP/Track Review Beginnings
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 12, 2017
Read "Meditations on Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Meditations on Freedom
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 11, 2017
Read "Kansas City Here I Come" CD/LP/Track Review Kansas City Here I Come
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: February 10, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.