14

Matthew Shipp Trio: Piano Song

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Matthew Shipp Trio: Piano Song
The finest compliment you can pay an artist is that his music is instantly recognized in a blindfold test. Sure, back in the day most experienced listeners could identify a Bud Powell, Bill Evans, or Oscar Peterson recording. It's just, these days, there are so many Powell, Evans, and Peterson soundalikes, schooled in the art of emulation, that identity is no longer a prized commodity. That is, unless you value an original voice, one like that of Matthew Shipp.

Of course, recognition requires listening. If you have the opportunity, there have been plenty of Shipp recordings with which to become acquainted. Since the late 1980s, he has led or collaborated on 150+ sessions with David S. Ware, Ivo Perelman, William Parker, Joe Morris and Mat Maneri, to name just a few. Although his solo outings are becoming legendary, it is his piano trio (traditional piano/bass/drums) recordings that will cement his role in the history of jazz, such that, in twenty years the next crop of young lions will be Shipp impersonators.

That sound I speak of is immediately apparent in the opening solo piece. "Links" places the listener between the structure of classical piano and the possibilities of improvisation. Like a Zen ensō painting, his formal structure is hand drawn with an uninhibited delivery. Shipp immediately dives into the trio setting with "Cosmo," which opens with Michael Bisio's reference to Miles Davis' "So What," before scattering the orthodoxy into his signature Shipp-isms of dense clusters and hammered blocks. All of which recall the same criticism once made about Thelonious Monk "He plays wrong notes," which later was regarded as genius.

This trio is a fine starting place to step into the river that is Shipp's music. Besides long time collaborator Bisio, Shipp has reformed his trio adding drummer Newman Taylor Baker. This disc, his last for Thirsty Ear, follows The Conduct Of Jazz (2015). The music is flawlessly arranged from the Shipp solo to a chest pounding duo "Scramble Brain" between Bisio and Baker, and the ten trio pieces. "Microwave" takes its cues from Bernard Herrmann's soundtrack for the movie "Psycho," spoken in the deconstruction of this trio. "Mind Space" connects rattling disparate pieces with logic, and the quietness of "Void Of Sea" aches with a dense world-weariness. The signature piece of the recording is "Gravity Point," a Shipp vehicle packed with fevered runs and hairpin turns. Music metamorphoses from dissonance into harmony, through the unique vernacular that is Matthew Shipp.

Track Listing

Links; Cosmopolitan; Blue Desert; Silence Of; Flying Carpet; Scrambled Brain; Microwave; Mind Space; Void of Sea; The Nature Of; Gravity Point; Piano Song.

Personnel

Matthew Shipp: piano; Michael Bisio: bass; Newman Taylor Baker: drums.

Album information

Title: Piano Song | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Thirsty Ear Recordings

Post a comment about this album

Tags

View events near New York City
Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon

More

Read Earth
Earth
Dave Liebman
Read Urban(e)
Urban(e)
Mike Fahie Jazz Orchestra
Read Hiding Place
Hiding Place
Mark Murphy, Folk Artist
Read The Truce
The Truce
Markus Reuter
Read Data Lords
Data Lords
Maria Schneider Orchestra
Read In Igma
In Igma
Pedro Melo Alves
Read Blood Moon
Blood Moon
Ingrid Laubrock + Kris Davis

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.