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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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

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Forming a duo in jazz can amount to a daunting task. There's simply no hiding; with arrangements so sparse, possibility is boundless and subtleties are fully exposed. This formless atmosphere requires able musicians who can immerse themselves in their instruments and in turn, feed off each other to eventually flourish on a singular wavelength. The innovators of the jazz duo--Anthony Braxton and Max Roach, Bill Evans and Jim Hall, Dave Holland and Sam Rivers--reaped these artistic benefits and effectively solidified ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Toxic: Mat Walerian/Matthew Shipp/William Parker: This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People

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Polish multi-instrumentalist Mat Walerian is on the verge of reserving his seat in the pantheon of groundbreaking hornmen who recorded for the late Bernard Stollman's storied ESP-Disk' label. Not as frenetic as Frank Wright, nor as strident as Sonny Simmons, Walerian instead boasts a singular approach that binds Eastern influence and blues sensibility with fluent, legato phrasing, often reminiscent of Marion Brown's lyrical finesse. His first two live recordings for ESP--The Uppercut: Live at Okuden (2015) with Matthew Shipp and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mat Walerian/Matthew Shipp/Hamid Drake: Jungle: Live At Okuden

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Polish reedman Mat Walerian's second album is in many ways a follow up to his first, Live At Okuden (ESP-disk, 2015). The two CD set was recorded live in Torun in central Poland, as part of Walerian's Okuden concert series, six months after his debut, and similarly features pianist Matthew Shipp. However this time out drummer Hamid Drake joins the pair. Although Walerian is credited with all but four of the 13 tracks, his compositions seem as oblique as those ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jungle: Mat Walerian/Matthew Shipp/Hamid Drake: Live At Okuden

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How is it that a musician like reedsman Mat Walerian can drop straight out of the sky and into your ears? Where did he come from? The mostly self-taught Polish born artist releases Live At Okuden his second for ESP Disk. The label is definitely the most appropriate record company for such a mysterious artist. Think of label founder Bernard Stollman's earliest artists, Albert Ayler, Giuseppi Logan, Frank Wright, Noah Howard, and Charles Tyler. All players introduced to us by ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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

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Jane Austen was mistaken when she wrote “Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable." Passing away at the age of 41 in 1817, she would not have had the opportunity to hear either jazz, nor the music of Matthew Shipp and Mat Walerian. The surprise here is twofold; first, the discovery of a new voice, Polish reedsman Mat Walerian and second, the opportunity to hear pianist Matthew Shipp in his ...