All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

589

Matthew Shipp Trio: Harmonic Disorder

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
One of today's most iconic artists, pianist Matthew Shipp has fearlessly ventured into numerous genres in search of new means of expression. From stark chamber-like acoustic settings to electronic collaborations with DJs, programmers, and hip-hop artists, Shipp has defied simple categorization. His previous recording for Thirsty Ear, Piano Vortex (2007) found him returning to the acoustic piano trio format with bassist Joe Morris and drummer Whit Dickey. Harmonic Disorder is the empathetic trio's sophomore effort, taking up where the previous session left off, moving further into dense, challenging territory.

Shipp's chromatic lyricism is incisive and focused on the angular opener "GNG," and rapturously unfettered on "Mr. JM" and "Zo Number 2." The introspective "Orb" finds him exuding abstract blues, while the pensive title track, bittersweet "Mel Chi 2," and moody "Compost" showcase his opulent abilities as a sensitive interpreter of ballads. The standards "There Will Never Be Another You" and "Someday My Prince Will Come" are given stirring treatments, the former a quicksilver abstraction, the later a rousing deconstruction. Establishing further ties to the tradition, the playfully Monkish "Roe" and the Ellingtonian swagger of "Light" reveal Shipp's debt to the masters as they regale with a vivacious swing that is both adventurous and accessible.

Over the past few years, guitarist Joe Morris has been doubling more frequently on his second axe, contrabass. While Morris' earliest efforts on upright were entirely serviceable, his recent forays reveal the blossoming of a truly expressive technique, as exemplified by his radiant arco work on "Quantum Waves" and plangent pizzicato on the dark title track.

Rekindling their telepathic rapport, Dickey reprises his mid-nineties role as Shipp's key drummer. His tastefully restrained playing on the previous trio session has been augmented by a slightly more fervid approach, as he recalls the days spent alongside Shipp and bassist William Parker in tenor saxophonist David S. Ware's powerhouse quartet. Dickey is a versatile performer; "Zo Number 2" features a roiling, extended excursion of thunderous excess, whereas "Orb" showcases his subtle brush work.

Another brilliant installment in a growing and varied discography, Harmonic Disorder is a bracing interpretation of the classic piano trio and continuing proof of Shipp's abilities as a composer and improviser of the highest order.

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 Theater.

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

Title: Harmonic Disorder | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Thirsty Ear Recordings

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
Read more articles
Sonic Fiction

Sonic Fiction

ESP Disk
2018

buy
Symbol Systems

Symbol Systems

Hatology
2018

buy
Zero

Zero

ESP Disk
2018

buy
Magnetism(s)

Magnetism(s)

Rogue Art
2017

buy

Related Articles

Read Dawn CD/LP/Track Review
Dawn
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Life Of CD/LP/Track Review
Life Of
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Downtown Castles Can Never Block The Sun CD/LP/Track Review
Downtown Castles Can Never Block The Sun
by Gareth Thompson
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Enso CD/LP/Track Review
Enso
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Let Your Light Shine On CD/LP/Track Review
Let Your Light Shine On
by Chris May
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 26, 2018
Read "Hudson" CD/LP/Track Review Hudson
by Doug Collette
Published: June 14, 2017
Read "Heliosonic Toneways Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Heliosonic Toneways Vol. 1
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 14, 2018
Read "Solo a Genova" CD/LP/Track Review Solo a Genova
by Doug Collette
Published: January 28, 2018
Read "Live Recitation" CD/LP/Track Review Live Recitation
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 16, 2017
Read "Saluting Sgt. Pepper" CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Thought You Knew" CD/LP/Track Review Thought You Knew
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 5, 2018