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Jazz Articles | Blog

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 ...

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

The Core Trio featuring Matthew Shipp: The Core Trio Live, featuring Matthew Shipp

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What we have here is no-nonsense free improvisation where the track titles are chronologically functional but the music has a mind of its own. This is the Core Trio, who in direct opposition to that kind of pragmatic naming convention, have consistently performed and recorded as a small combo with an additional guest. Robert Boston, Steve Swell, and Tim Hagans) have each joined the “core" trio being at the heart of a quartet. For the second time, on The Core ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobby Kapp / Matthew Shipp: Cactus

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After a productive period in the 1960s, drummer Bobby Kapp revived his career at the start of the millennium. Among his latter projects was The Fine Wine Trio with pianist Richard Wyands and bassist Gene Perla. The group was commissioned by the US State Department to tour Africa and Jordan as “Jazz Ambassadors." That music, being decidedly mainstream, did not reflect Kapp's free jazz affinity having played with the likes Archie Shepp and much more recently with alto saxophonist Noah ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobby Kapp / Matthew Shipp: Cactus

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Drummer Bobby Kapp, free jazz spirit in New York in the mid-sixties, relocated to Mexico City, to the Artists' colony San Miguel de Allede. But he gets around, and on a return to New York he joined pianist Matthew Shipp to record a terrific set of duo improvisations called Cactus. Shipp, the better-known half of the team, plays with a vehemence that parallels his public persona--a prickly, chip-on-the-shoulder, in-your-face approach, a sort of Randy Weston meets Cecil Taylor ...

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/Michael Bisio: Live in Seattle

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The Italian renaissance sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and scientist Michelangelo di Lodovico is often quoted, when referring to his 17-foot sculpted masterpiece David, “every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it." The same thought comes to mind when two musical sculptors chip away at everything that doesn't sound euphonic to, well, you get the idea. For some time now, the pair, bassist Michael Bisio and pianist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matthew Shipp Trio: The Conduct of Jazz

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Influential progressive jazz pianist/improviser, Matthew Shipp boasts an extensive discography as a group leader, soloist and in-demand session artiste. During the past three decades he's amassed an immense discography amid his affiliations with like-minded musicians representing the USA and Euro-jazz circuits. On this piano trio date, Shipp exemplifies to a very high degree, his uncanny knack for seamlessly bridging the avant-garde space with modern jazz. Unlike similar experimental or outside motivations by many of his peers, the pianist's muse is ...


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