All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

14

Matthew Shipp Trio: Piano Song

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
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.

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

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Thesis

Thesis

Matthew Shipp
Duos With Mat Maneri & Joe...

4D

4D

Matthew Shipp
4D

CD/LP/Track Review
Best of / Year End
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Sonic Fiction

Sonic Fiction

ESP Disk
2018

buy
Zero

Zero

ESP Disk
2018

buy
Not Bound

Not Bound

For Tune
2017

buy
Piano Song

Piano Song

Thirsty Ear Recordings
2017

buy

Related Articles

Read Origins CD/LP/Track Review
Origins
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Say It CD/LP/Track Review
Say It
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Alchemia Garden CD/LP/Track Review
Alchemia Garden
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Don't You Wish CD/LP/Track Review
Don't You Wish
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 19, 2018
Read "Tetrawind" CD/LP/Track Review Tetrawind
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 24, 2017
Read "4" CD/LP/Track Review 4
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 27, 2018
Read "Dreams of Belonging" CD/LP/Track Review Dreams of Belonging
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 18, 2018
Read "Clareia" CD/LP/Track Review Clareia
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: January 9, 2018
Read "Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves" CD/LP/Track Review Nor Sea, nor Land, nor Salty Waves
by Duncan Heining
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Live From Jazz at the Bistro" CD/LP/Track Review Live From Jazz at the Bistro
by Geannine Reid
Published: May 15, 2017