All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

285

Darius Jones / Matthew Shipp: Cosmic Lieder

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Cosmic Lieder documents the first recorded collaboration between rising alto saxophone star Darius Jones and venerable pianist Matthew Shipp. Veering between dark lyricism and roiling catharsis, the date offers an illuminating window into the creative discourse between two different generations of the avant-garde.

Released concurrently with the expansive live double album, The Art of the Improviser (Thirsty Ear), which showcases Shipp's artistry in both solo and trio settings, this intimate studio date presents yet another facet of the pianist's abilities as part of an ongoing celebration of his 50th birthday. With a discography featuring appearances on more than 65 titles released since 1987, and nearly 40 of those made as a leader or co-leader, Shipp's vast experience outweighs Jones' by well over a decade. Despite their age disparity, Jones makes a keen partner for the elder pianist.

Currently serving as a member of numerous high-profile ensembles, including Little Women and Mike Pride's From Bacteria To Boys, Jones' phenomenal debut Man'ish Boy (A Raw & Beautiful Thing) (AUM Fidelity, 2009) was widely and justifiably lauded as the premier of an important new voice on alto. Though still relatively young, Jones already possesses an utterly distinctive identity as an instrumentalist. He wields a biting tone and commanding phrasing on his chosen horn that is instantly identifiable.

In spite of stylistic preconceptions fostered by their avant-garde credentials, the session opens on a tender note with "Bleed," as Jones and Shipp each conjure poignant statements with lyrical restraint. The album's overall vibe slowly amplifies in intensity with each proceeding cut until a third of the way into the record, when "Multiverse" ascends to a fervent assault of pounded note clusters and overblown split tones. "Mandrakk" follows suit thematically, albeit at a far quieter volume; Shipp plucks metallic pizzicati from inside the piano while Jones' complements his efforts with controlled multiphonics and diaphanous altissimo refrains.

The date subsequently vacillates between sonic extremes, gracefully merging the fragile euphony of bittersweet harmonies with strident dissonances and brash intervals, yielding a singularly melodic sensibility that is equal parts introspective and extroverted. Fragments of standard chord changes even materialize on occasion; "Jonesy" adopts the harmonic progression of John Coltrane's "Giant Steps," warped and modulated into a mosaic of phantasmagoric beauty.

Jones' vocalized timbre and rapturous delivery is comparable to a singer's dynamic range, as Shipp unleashes a labyrinthine series of melodic contours that escape the gravitational pull of standard harmony. Relatively brief and to the point, the oblique angles and abstruse detours of each concise tune invoke the art song tradition, making Cosmic Lieder an entirely appropriate title for this auspicious meeting.

Visit Darius Jones and Matthew Shipp on the web.

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

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

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

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Thesis

Thesis

Matthew Shipp
Duos With Mat Maneri & Joe...

4D

4D

Matthew Shipp
4D

CD/LP/Track Review
Best of / Year End
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Sonic Fiction

Sonic Fiction

ESP Disk
2018

buy
Zero

Zero

ESP Disk
2018

buy
Not Bound

Not Bound

For Tune
2017

buy
Piano Song

Piano Song

Thirsty Ear Recordings
2017

buy

Related Articles

Read Origins CD/LP/Track Review
Origins
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Say It CD/LP/Track Review
Say It
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Alchemia Garden CD/LP/Track Review
Alchemia Garden
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Don't You Wish CD/LP/Track Review
Don't You Wish
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 19, 2018
Read "Solo Contra" CD/LP/Track Review Solo Contra
by Daniel Barbiero
Published: February 24, 2018
Read "From Beyond" CD/LP/Track Review From Beyond
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 7, 2018
Read "Trip" CD/LP/Track Review Trip
by James Nadal
Published: August 1, 2017
Read "Living Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Living Tribute
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 27, 2017
Read "Kami Fusen" CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "Elementals" CD/LP/Track Review Elementals
by Chris May
Published: April 18, 2018