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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Roscoe Mitchell / Matthew Shipp: Accelerated Projection

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Here's one from the vaults that still retains currency. This duo recital captures pianist Matthew Shipp and reedman Roscoe Mitchell in concert at the 2005 Sant'Anna Arresi festival in Sardinia. Shipp has enjoyed a lengthy association with the veteran Art Ensemble of Chicago founder, documented on This Dance For Steve McCall (Black Saint, 1992) and Nine To Get Ready (ECM, 1999). Even though the pianist has since forged a successful career as leader, the pair--who can be counted among the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Daniel Carter / William Parker / Matthew Shipp: Seraphic Light [Live At Tufts University]

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Do you remember the film The Thomas Crowne Affair? The original--not the 1999 remake--starred Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway, and contained the 1968 Academy Award-winning song “Windmills of Your Mind" by Dusty Springfield. I bring that up because this live performance by Daniel Carter, William Parker, and Matthew Shipp brings to mind the lyrics: “Like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel / Never ending or beginning on an ever spinning reel / As the images ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matthew Shipp: Zero

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There has always been a connection between Thelonious Monk and Matthew Shipp, just not in the music they play. Monk, a student of Harlem stride piano, was present at the birth of bebop. Shipp, born in 1960, has always been associated with the avant-garde, free jazz and improvisation. The connection between the two pianists is their creation of a distinctive and personal language. Monk's melodic twists were foreign to many listeners and were put down as being weird and unconventional. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ivo Perelman / Matthew Shipp: Oneness

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Taking a page from Matthew Shipp's playbook, Ivo Perelman declared the duo's latest release Oneness to be their last. After 2017's The Art Of Perelman--Shipp series and their stellar duo recording Live In Brussels (Leo Records, 2017) release, the pair have crafted nearly three dozen sessions together, including 8 duo recordings. You might have your doubts as to the veracity of that declaration, but judging by this 3-CD box it is the apogee of their collaboration and the culmination of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matthew Shipp: Zero

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In a recent interview with Jazz Trail's Filipe Freitas, pianist/composer Matthew Shipp talked about returning to his long-standing inquiry into how spontaneous free improvisation develops. His thought process involves “the same metaphysical concepts that have always been what I ask -how things come out of nothing?" Shipp's line of questioning is strikingly close in its relationship to the concepts of a physical universe arising from “nothing," the nothing being the energy of empty space. Shipp--like physicists--expresses a fascination with what ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Matthew Shipp Quartet: Sonic Fiction

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The ESP-Disk label simultaneously has released two distinctly different leader dates from Matthew Shipp. Zero is an excellent solo piano album, and here, we have Shipp's namesake quartet on the ten-track Sonic Fiction. The shared deference and camaraderie in this free-spirited outing allows for an appreciation of even the slightest details and distinctions--elements that can easily be lost in such an open setting. The quartet is made up of familiar Shipp colleagues but not previously heard in this ...

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Matthew Shipp: Zero

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Playing improvised solo piano is essentially a conundrum. Where do you start and when does a form emerge? Music begins as sounds and a composition could be the shaping of those sounds, but what about silence and the thing that comes before sound? Avantgarde-composer, John Cage, famously framed the sound of silence on his composition “4'33" to show that music is always happening, but in a very conceptual way. Pianist, improvisor and composer, Matthew Shipp, arrives at the same point ...

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Matthew Shipp: Not Bound

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On Not Bound, pianist extraordinaire Matthew Shipp and his top-drawer rhythm section of Michael Bisio on bass and Whit Dickey on drums is joined by multi-instrumentalist Steve Carter in an exceptional tour de force of spontaneous music within a compositional framework. Each of the five tracks offers unique and exciting lyricism. “Soul Secrets" begins with a cool piano and flute intro that leads to a rumble. Bisio is quite active on the bass, even under the unhurried opening ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

Jakob Baekgaard's Best Releases of 2017

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2017 was another good year for music and while there is much unrest in the world, it is a source of comfort that it is still possible to bring people together from different corners of the world to play and sing together. Here are twelve records that stood out for me. Matthew Shipp Piano Song Thirsty Ear Why? Matthew Shipp continues to define and redefine the piano with great respect for ...

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Matthew Shipp: Magnetism(s)

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When originally issued back in 1999, pianist Matthew Shipp's Magnetism (Bleu Regard), uniting him with long standing soul mates bassist William Parker and saxophonist Rob Brown, stood as one of a series of fine dates by the pianist which included By The Law Of Music (Hat Art, 1997) and Strata (Hat Art, 1998). Like many of Shipp's albums of that period it comprises a sequence of short pieces which feature varying instrumentation. The Paris-based Rogue Art imprint has now reissued ...