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Equilibrium represents the second collaboration between pianist Matthew Shipp and electronic expert FLAM, after last year's successful Nu Bop. The lineup is the same, except reed man Daniel Carter is replaced by vibraphonist Khan Jamal, who adds a sense of heightened continuity to the quartet's sound.
The opening number, “Equilibrium,” is a splendid example of the harmony achieved by the group. Shipp’s classical approach stirs up some unique dialog with Khan Jamal's vibes, while William Parker’s bass line holds everything together.
The next number, “Vamp to Vibe,” adds FLAM to the mix, recalling Herbie Hancock and Bobby Hutcherson and exploding sounds with a heavy bass line and back beat.
“Cohesion” is a number which ought to be featured on any jazz radio station that seeks to play "out" music without going to the limit. Just listening to William Parker is pure joy.
If you enjoyed Shipp's Nu Bop from last year, you're likely to groove to this new effort.
Track Listing: I. Equilibrium (3:44)
II. Vamp To Vibe (5:28)
III. Nebula Theory (5:25)
IV. Cohesion (6:35)
V. World Of Blue Glass (5:26)
VI. Portal (1:13)
VII. The Root (5:03)
VIII. The Key (4:12)
IX. Nu Matrix (4:01)
Personnel: Matthew Shipp, piano; William Parker, bass; Gerald Cleaver, drums; Khan
Jamal, vibes; Flam, synths + programming
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.