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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matthew Shipp Trio: Piano Song

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It's difficult to encapsulate pianist Matthew Shipp's inimitable musical vision and approach exclusively with words. The elusiveness of his aesthetic stems from its malleability: Shipp retains his unwavering objective of unfettered expression, yet never fully eschews tradition, yielding an unrivaled brand of stirring music. A consummate innovator, Shipp's singular musical vocabulary has matured and diversified over decades of enterprising music, spanning a multitude of genres and musical ensembles. 2016 was a particularly fruitful year for Shipp, with releases ...

INTERVIEWS

Matthew Shipp: Let's Do Lunch!

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When Matthew Shipp asked me to design the cover art for his Points album (Silkheart Records, 1992), I showed him works from the on-going drawing study I was engaged in. He picked one graphite drawing and said, “Wow! This is exactly what's happening inside my mind when I play the piano!" Here, we talk of the history of his musicianship; creative process; spirituality; interest in literature and life in jny: New York City. I am blessed to have ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matthew Shipp Trio: Piano Song

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Recent months in 2016 have seen the release of at least a half-dozen albums featuring Matthew Shipp including The Uppercut (ESP-Disk) with Polish reed player Mat Walerian, Live in Sant'Anna Arresi, 2004 (AUM Fidelity), a duo release with the late David S. Ware, the Bobby Kapp duo recording Cactus (Northern-Spy Records) and The Core Trio Live Featuring Matthew Shipp (Evil Rabbit Records). The four represent a broadly diverse array of music and now Piano Song further expands the artist's portfolio. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matthew Shipp Trio: Piano Song

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Depending on your perspective, tradition can both be a blessing and a burden. Especially in jazz, it is hard to say something new and this is true as well when it comes to the noble art of the piano trio. Thelonious Monk has been there, Bill Evans has been there and Cecil Taylor has been there--just to name a few innovators. It has become harder to identify gigantic stylistic leaps, but subtle innovations happen all the time. Recently, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David S. Ware/Matthew Shipp: Live in Sant’Anna Arresi, 2004

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Describing David S. Ware as a maverick would be a gimmicky shortcut around the depth of the late saxophonist's vision. Outside of John Coltrane we have not seen a Ware contemporary with more depth of spirituality, presented in such a visceral way. Similarly, Matthew Shipp employs a type of unimaginable creative mysticism that transcends technique and peer comparisons with an approach and sound that is wholly his own. Live in Sant'Anna Arresi, 2004 showcases two masters--with a long working history--in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David S. Ware/Matthew Shipp: Live in Sant'Anna Arresi 2004

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In every mystical film we see, like A Sea Of Trees and A Dog's Purpose or book we read--A Sudden Light by Garth Stein or Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, the departed find a way to communicate with the living. As humans, we desire this experience. Fortunately, music affords us this opportunity at just about every turn. While there are no newly discovered Albert Ayler recordings coming, there are some by saxophonist David S. Ware yet unissued. Thanks to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David S. Ware & Matthew Shipp Duo: Live In Sant'Anna Arresi, 2004

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Saxophonist and composer, David S. Ware (1949-2012), was one of the most original voices in modern jazz and his uncompromising approach to his art was deeply connected with a spiritual understanding of life. To Ware, playing and listening to music were different aspects of the essence of life. Ware left behind a rich discography and, fortunately, new musical treasures are still coming. One of them is a live recording from Sant'Anna Arresi with his long-term-collaborator, the pianist, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Butcher, Thomas Lehn, Matthew Shipp: Tangle

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Recorded at Café Oto in February 2014, on the first night of pianist Matthew Shipp's three-day residency at the venue, Tangle is the first recording of the trio of saxophonist John Butcher and synthesiser player Thomas Lehn with Shipp. (The YouTube clip, below, was filmed on the night in question.) Typically, there were previous links between the three, with evidence being available on past Fataka releases; Butcher and Lehn had first collaborated as far back as 1996 and, in June ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Amendola vs. Wil Blades: Greatest Hits

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Hardly the adversarial enterprise its billing implies, Greatest Hits is not keyboardist Wil Blades' first duo with a master percussionist: he recorded Shimmy (Amulet, 2012) with Billy Martin (of Medeski, Martin & Wood fame) in 2012. And any music lover who relished Martin's somewhat more abstract collaboration with keyboardist Medeski, Mago (Amulet, 2007) will be nevertheless satisfied with the largely earthy, accessible results of this project: this wryly-titled collaboration with drummer Scott Amendola is a comparable companion piece, even though ...


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