Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
259

Matthew Shipp Trio: Harmonic Disorder

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count Views
Matthew Shipp Trio: Harmonic Disorder Like his very good friend and sometimes bassist William Parker, pianist Matthew Shipp is well-versed in the outer reaches of jazz and the inner circle of free improvisation. And like his friend, he has produced a more conventional jazz trio recording, written in his own distinctive handwriting.



Beginning with Piano Vortex (Thirsty Ear, 2007), a new trio of Shipp with Whit Dickey (drums) and (guitarist and now more often) bassist Joe Morris emerged. As the self-titled disc ended, it seemed to signal a reexamination of bebop with "To Vitalize." The trio picks up where it left off on Harmonic Disorder with the opening "GNG." Morris and Dickey's infections groove allows Shipp's single-note right hand to play a slightly off-center brand of swing. His 'follow me' approach is repeated on the two standards "There Will Never Be Another You" and "Someday My Prince Will Come," where he references the melody to stay with the roadmap, but sometimes driving the car in a zigzag pattern, or sometimes even backwards. "Prince" utilizes huge chords juxtaposed against simple notes, while "Another You" skips along the surface in a high speed (almost-stride piano) manner.



The trio is completely sympathetic with Shipp's compositions. Dickey has been the pianist's drummer of choice, along with those of David S. Ware and Shipp, since the 1990s. Morris has recorded with the pianist often in recent years. Here, the trio sticks to shorter pieces—the longest track, "Zo Number 2," is only slightly longer than six minutes. But don't think this isn't a heavy disc; Shipp can make big statements within short time frames. His hammering "Roe" grabs two hands-full of keys as he applies his version of piano rolfing, and either the piano will need a tuning after this workout or he's realigned the keys. The dramatic effect is exhaustingly impressive.



Maybe the better studies here, though, are the simpler tracks—"Orb," where Shipp's thoughts are almost audible as he chooses notes or the low-end, and "Quantum Waves," allowing Morris to mind the store as Dickey accents the cymbals and Shipp chases a rising tone.



Shipp's Vortex piano trio sets the bar quite high, and it might become the new standard in which the next wave of jazz trios will be judged.


Track Listing: GNG; There Will Never Be Another You; Harmonic Disorder; Someday My Prince Will Come; Mel Chi 2; Mr. JM; Mel Chi 1; Roe; Orb; Compost; Zo Number 2; Quantum Waves; Light; When The Curtain Falls On The Jazz Theatre.

Personnel: Matthew Shipp: piano; Joe Morris: bass; Whit Dickey: drums.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Thirsty Ear Recordings | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop For Jazz

  • Thesis
    Thesis
    Matthew Shipp
    Duos With Mat Maneri & Joe...
  • 4D
    4D
    Matthew Shipp
    4D
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Live in Seattle
Live in Seattle
Origin Records
2016
buy
Cactus
Cactus
Northern-Spy Records
2016
buy
Our Lady Of The Flowers
Our Lady Of The...
Rogueart Records
2015
buy
I've Been To Many Places
I've Been To Many...
Thirsty Ear Recordings
2015
buy
The Conduct of Jazz
The Conduct of Jazz
Thirsty Ear Recordings
2015
buy
To Duke
To Duke
Rogue Art
2015
buy
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Eric Dolphy Eric Dolphy
reeds
Ornette Coleman Ornette Coleman
sax, alto
Dave Douglas Dave Douglas
trumpet
Cecil Taylor Cecil Taylor
piano
William Parker William Parker
bass, acoustic
Vijay Iyer Vijay Iyer
piano
Andrew Hill Andrew Hill
piano
Marc Ribot Marc Ribot
guitar

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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