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...

4

Matthew Shipp Trio at SFJAZZ

Harry S. Pariser By

Sign in to view read count
Matt Shipp Trio
SFJAZZ
San Francisco, CA
December 8, 2017

In this era, one where many of most popular musicians in the musical genre classified as "jazz" double as pop musicians, Matthew Shipp stands out. True to his craft since he moved to New York City in 1984, the 57-year-old Shipp has made innumerable recordings—solo, with a group, and as a sideman on dates with avant-garde legends David S. Ware and Roscoe Mitchell, as well as no less than 31 recordings with the Braziian-born avant-garde tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman.

On this particular evening, Shipp was making a rare West Coast appearance at SFJAZZ in their intimate Joe Henderson Lab. Clad in jeans and sneakers, Shipp sat down at the piano at stage right and played meditatively. Playing with Shipp since 2009, acoustic bassist Michael Bisio stood to his right. His dress shirt hung over pants with cuffs folded up. Bisio's long and straight but shaggy grey hair fell forward as he moved his chin up and down in concentration. Drummer Newman Taylor Baker—who has played with the likes of Billy Bang, Henry Threadgill, Billy Harper, Henry Grimes and Leroy Jenkins—sat behind his kit at the other end of the stage.

The trio has jelled in the years since Taylor-Baker arrived (replacing longtime Shipp associate Whit Dickey), and their interplay wass both fluid and solid. During the evening, the trio improvised on numbers such as "Virgin Complex," "Someday My Prince Will Come," "On Green Dolphin Street" and "What is This Thing Called Love?," during which Shipp procreated prolific pyrotechnics with the piano keys.

Seated at the black, gleaming Yamaha, Shipp played meditatively before he building up to a crescendo. His cupped fingers crawled forward in a way reminiscent of the struggle of a beached crab attempting to use its pincers to pull itself out of sand. He pulled his hands back towards him, over and over, fast and furious. His fingers would pounce with determination to the left of his keyboard, then the center; his right foot pounded the pedal, building up a cathedral-like structure. At times, he would exercise prodigious percussion, bringing up explosive notes and painting the air with sound. When the others would solo or duet, he would lean forward to relax, his arms stretched over the Yamaha's keyboard.

Bisio plucked his strings, pressed his hand flat down on his bass strings, brought forth squeaky sounds as he leaned back—his left hand fingering upward with thumb and two forefingers as he bowed, sawing the bow in a circle. A memorable moment was an innovative solo in which he lovingly rendered John Coltrane's "Wise One." Given his virtuousity, it is hard to understand why Bisio is not better known.

Taylor-Baker soloed confidently, his head bobbing up and down in time to the music; his long braided locks flowing. He brought both unusual texture and energy to the evening's music by playing the edges of his drums with his sticks and engaging in an explosive solo.

Shipp called the band as the evening's performance wound down, and the enthused audience milled about before departing.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Thesis

Thesis

Matthew Shipp
Duos With Mat Maneri & Joe...

4D

4D

Matthew Shipp
4D

Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Year in Review
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Signature

Signature

ESP Disk
2019

buy
New American Songbooks, Volume 2

New American...

Pleasure Of Text Records
2019

buy
Sonic Fiction

Sonic Fiction

ESP Disk
2018

buy
Symbol Systems

Symbol Systems

Hatology
2018

buy
Zero

Zero

ESP Disk
2018

buy
New American Songbooks, Volume 2

New American...

Pleasure Of Text Records
2018

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Feb25Mon
Matthew Shipp Trio
Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
New York, NY
Mar5Tue
Shipp/lowe/cleaver/ray
Roulette
Brooklyn, NY
$18

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Live Reviews
ECM @ Winter Jazzfest 2019
By Tyran Grillo
February 20, 2019
Live Reviews
The 2019 Tibet House U.S. Benefit Concert
By Mike Perciaccante
February 17, 2019
Live Reviews
JAZZTOPAD 2018
By Henning Bolte
February 16, 2019
Live Reviews
America At The Paramount
By Mike Perciaccante
February 16, 2019
Live Reviews
Brussels Jazz Festival 2019
By Martin Longley
February 15, 2019
Live Reviews
Gourmet At April Jazz Club
By Anthony Shaw
February 13, 2019
Live Reviews
Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science at Cologne Philharmonic
By Phillip Woolever
February 12, 2019