This is a reissue of the original 1996 Hat Art recording. Yet, pianist Matthew Shipp has gone on to release umpteenth solo outings besides his intermittent performances with bassist William Parker and violinist Mat Maneri. Other than the trio’s rather abstract rendition of Duke Ellington’s “Solitude,” Shipp composed the remaining twelve pieces.
They venture into what has now become familiar territory – where the band delves into microtonal patterns, and shifting tonalities. The trio also implements various odd-metered time signatures amid a matrix-like platform. The album title might serve as an antithesis to the musicians’ musical output. As they seemingly defy the laws of music via sequences of counterbalancing motifs, and free form improv interspersed with John Cage-like concepts. On “Fair Play,” Parker establishes a fervent pace due to his steady, walking bass lines as Shipp and Maneri render interweaving statements that develop into subsequent mini-motifs. Otherwise, the respective musicians have made signifcant advances since the onset of this release. Recommended.