4

Jeff Cosgrove/Matthew Shipp/William Parker: Near Disaster

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Is there such a phenomenon as free will? Most of us would like to think so. But consider for a moment, that every thought, decision, and action you make is a product of your DNA and the sum total of all your experiences. Sure, you make choices, but do you really have self-rule to over that catalog of choices? 

And what does this have to do with free jazz? 

Instant composing, sure it's possible. But consider drummer Jeff Cosgrove's trio with pianist Matthew Shipp and bassist William Parker as an argument against free will. From the very first notes that find their way to your eardrums, Cosgrove's dance upon snare drum and cymbals, Parker's bowed bass and Shipp's piano attack, you (depending upon your listening experience) can identify the musicians, or at least the music. Yes, that's a Matt Shipp sprawl of percussive notes, and here's the legendary Parker acoustic bass energy generator. Each signature sound is a product of hundreds (actually, thousands) of performances and recordings. For this recording Near Disaster, these three musicians have come together to document the confluence of their experience. 

Shipp and Parker need no introduction here, their collaborations date back to the late-1980s. Jeff Cosgrove brings an energy to this session that he has previously displayed in his work with musicians like Scott Robinson, Ivo Perelman, Mat Maneri, and Frank Kimbrough. This recording follows the trio's Alternating Current (Grizzley Music, 2014).

But what of free will? An inattentive eavesdrop on this recording and you might believe each player is cloistered inside his own music. But a deeper dive, for instance into a piece like "Spherical," and each player's actions and reactions to the others becomes obvious. The disparate parts aren't so disparate. Shipp's convexity is tailored to the roving buoyancy of Parker and Cosgrove. Each player nudges and prods the music in sometimes subtle degrees and sometimes discordant ways. A lifetime of music making affects the choices of each player, but more importantly for our discussion of free will, this trio setting determines the sound. The urgency of "Last Steps, First" gives way to the lengthy  (35+ minutes) of "October Nights Sky," a performance that might require GPS coordinates to navigate. Where the former is a short story, the latter is a tome, a cross-country peregrination that can be entered at multiple points to hear new insights. This music, free jazz as it were, is an amalgamation of each player's DNA, life experiences (both personal and musical), and more importantly, a response to each other's sound. Free will or not, these are most excellent choices

Track Listing

Last Steps, First; October Nights Sky; Spherical.

Personnel

Jeff Cosgrove: drums; Matthew Shipp: piano; William Parker: bass.

Album information

Title: Near Disaster | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Grizzley Music

Tags

Shop for Music

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

Related Articles

Read Fig Tree
Fig Tree
By Friedrich Kunzmann
Read C.M. Musictrain
C.M. Musictrain
By Jakob Baekgaard
Read Chelada
Chelada
By Joe Gatto
Read The Sustain of Memory
The Sustain of Memory
By Dan McClenaghan
Read Vena
Vena
By Mike Jurkovic