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...

5

Matthew Shipp & Mat Walerian Duo/The Uppercut: Live At Okuden

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
While pianist Matthew Shipp has recorded a slew of head to heads with saxophonists, his duo -The Uppercut -with Polish reedman Mat Walerian is different. Reason being that on Live at Okuden the pair tackles a program of Walerian's compositions as well as four of the more expected jointly credited improvisations. However you might be hard pressed to distinguish between them as the compositional elements are subtle -a hint of sweetness from the hornman perhaps -but nothing too obvious. Although Walerian comes from a generation younger than Shipp, they have formed a strong bond evidenced by several tours in Poland and another recording in the can with master drummer Hamid Drake.

While the familiar tropes which make Shipp such a distinctive stylist remain in place, he pursues them without the single mindedness that characterizes his own dates, thereby allowing ample room for Walerian to shine. For his part the Pole exudes a spare melodicism, predominantly relying on the conventional registers of his alto saxophone and bass clarinet to express the speech like inflections of his lines. In fact conversational exchange forms the main currency of the duet, in which Walerian's free flowing legato contrasts with the pianist's spiky staccato accompaniment.

Although separated into individual cuts, the first five pieces flow together. Walerian's boppish bass clarinet opens alone on "Introduction," before Shipp combines in sparkling lyrical vein, with bluesy undertones emanating from both. On "Blues For Acid Cold" Walerian turns brooding and mournful, and is still reflective on "Jungle Meditation," though stretching the envelope with whistling sighs. He switches to alto saxophone for the next two selections, in animated dialogue on the joint "Free Bop Statement One" and then breathy but insistent on "Free Bop Statement Two." However it is "Love And The Other Species" which represents the high point of the recital, as Walerian's alto spirals and soars above Shipp's thunderous clusters before a gradual easing down to a subdued conclusion.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Lab 2018, The Rhythm of the Road CD/LP/Track Review
Lab 2018, The Rhythm of the Road
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 25, 2018
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 25, 2018
Read 8 Songs CD/LP/Track Review
8 Songs
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 25, 2018
Read Facing Dragons CD/LP/Track Review
Facing Dragons
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 25, 2018
Read Brothers CD/LP/Track Review
Brothers
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2018
Read The Fearless Flyers CD/LP/Track Review
The Fearless Flyers
by John Bricker
Published: September 24, 2018
Read "Solo" CD/LP/Track Review Solo
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 13, 2018
Read "Latin Bugaloo: The Warner Bros. Singles" CD/LP/Track Review Latin Bugaloo: The Warner Bros. Singles
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 1, 2018
Read "Beautiful Liar" CD/LP/Track Review Beautiful Liar
by Patrick Burnette
Published: May 8, 2018
Read "druidh penumbrae" CD/LP/Track Review druidh penumbrae
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 17, 2018
Read "Raising Our Voice" CD/LP/Track Review Raising Our Voice
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 15, 2018
Read "Animal Image" CD/LP/Track Review Animal Image
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 4, 2018