101

Darius Jones / Matthew Shipp: Cosmic Lieder

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Duets with saxophonists loom large in pianist Matthew Shipp's discography. His first release featured one such with a young Rob BrownSonic Explorations (Cadence Jazz, 1988)—and there have been further outings over the years with other reed men, including Roscoe Mitchell, Ivo Perelman, Evan Parker and Sabir Mateen. To add to that impressive roster comes a worthy addition in Cosmic Lieder, with talented newcomer alto saxophonist Darius Jones, who received serious plaudits for his stunning 2009 debut Man'ish Boy (A Raw & Beautiful Thing), also on the Aum Fidelity imprint.

Both men sublimate their considerable talents to discover a shared conception of bridled passion and abstract expression, distilled into 13 short vignettes in an intimate studio program just shy of 40 minutes. Though jointly credited, each piece has the feel of spontaneous but measured generation, largely confined within the initial parameters. There is no grandstanding: although the two participants are active virtually the whole time they intertwine with high levels of responsiveness, demonstrating both refined sensibilities and big ears. Despite his penchant for aching melody, Jones deals mainly in the austere and atonal, while Shipp avoids his signature trait of insistent repeated patterns but still sounds like no-one but himself.

Absorbed in their own sound world, the pair creates an overall mood of anguished introspection. Against that grain, the opening "Bleed" pitches keening alto against austere romantic piano in a folk-inflected extemporization which speaks of elemental longing. A similar feeling pervades the start of "Ultima Thule" before increasing fragmentation sets the scene for much that follows. While Shipp's thunderous residencies in the bass register often prompt Jones to guttural siren songs edged with controlled multiphonics, the reed man at other times leavens his litany of distortions with piping undulations as on the staccato "Motherboxxx." Overt structure surfaces on "Mandrakk" where passages of plucked piano strings and juddering alto harmonics sandwich a sweetly contrasting encounter between rippling piano and melodic saxophone. The twosome never outstay its welcome, and ultimately Cosmic Lieder provides a strong complement to Shipp's outstanding Art Of The Improviser (Thirsty Ear, 2011), showing yet another side to his artistry.

Track Listing: Bleed; Ultima Thule; Zillo Valla; Multiverse; Mandrakk; Overvoid; Weeja Dell; Motherboxxx; Black Lightning; Nix Uotan; Jonesy; 4-D Vision; Geh-Jedollah.

Personnel: Matthew Shipp: piano; Darius Jones: alto saxophone.

Title: Cosmic Lieder | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: AUM Fidelity


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Way of It CD/LP/Track Review The Way of It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Tag Book CD/LP/Track Review Tag Book
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Hide Ye Idols CD/LP/Track Review Hide Ye Idols
by Troy Collins
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Spavati, Mozda Sanjati CD/LP/Track Review Spavati, Mozda Sanjati
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Queen City Blues CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017
Read "Ma De Re Sha" CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read "Daylight Ghosts" CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "This Is The Uplifting Part" CD/LP/Track Review This Is The Uplifting Part
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 22, 2017
Read "Day and Night" CD/LP/Track Review Day and Night
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 18, 2017
Read "Richie Cole Plays Ballads & Love Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Richie Cole Plays Ballads & Love Songs
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin' at Morey Baker’s Showplace Lounge" CD/LP/Track Review Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin' at Morey...
by Doug Collette
Published: January 15, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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

Please support out sponsor