Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

209

Matthew Shipp: Piano Vortex

Kurt Gottschalk By

Sign in to view read count
After a series of daring, sometimes surprising, discs for Thirsty Ear over the last eight years, Matthew Shipp comes forth with what might be his most straightforward, simply enjoyable album. Taking the rich resonance of the piano and the fertile history of the piano trio under his arm, Shipp has made an album that eclipses divisions of "out and "tradition, while standing firmly within his own repertoire.

Part of what makes Piano Vortex work on different levels at once is the strength of the assembled group. Shipp's associations with Whit Dickey and Joe Morris stretch back nearly to the beginning of his career. That Morris is heard here on double-bass, rather than his more customary electric guitar, is, at last, beside the point. While Morris has been in the unfortunate position of growing as a bassist in front of an audience that already knew him as a masterful musician, here he at last sounds in his own on the upright.

Shipp's own angular playing is softened for this session, the edges rounded, in a way comparable to Monk's progression over the years. The eight tracks rely on structure, but not on stated themes, managing to feel at once exploratory and familiar. The group stretched out a bit more—but not radically so—at their Aug. 27, 2007 release party at New York's The Blue Note. They played one long piece, but following much of the mood of the album: Dickey's light, fleeting brushwork or muted rolls and Morris in the middle, matching Shipp's quick lines. The bass and drums seemed to play tag team with the piano, spinning off Shipp's repetitions and then reducing them to metered solos. Shipp's proclivities—small melodies, hymns and nursery rhymes—still peeked through but, as on the album, in a manner palatable to Blue Note's dinner crowd.

Track Listing: Piano Vortex; Keywswing; The New Circumstance; Nooks and Corners; Sliding Through Space; Quivering with Speed; Slips Through The Fingers; To Vitalize

Personnel: Matt Shipp: piano; Joe Morris: bass; Whit Dickey: drums.

Title: Piano Vortex | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Thirsty Ear Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Vertical CD/LP/Track Review Vertical
by Don Phipps
Published: January 16, 2018
Read In Stride CD/LP/Track Review In Stride
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Solid Gold CD/LP/Track Review Solid Gold
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Ts'iibil Chaaltun CD/LP/Track Review Ts'iibil Chaaltun
by Don Phipps
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "Live! Rancho Nicasio" CD/LP/Track Review Live! Rancho Nicasio
by James Nadal
Published: June 7, 2017
Read "The Ultimate Experience" CD/LP/Track Review The Ultimate Experience
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 10, 2017
Read "Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works" CD/LP/Track Review Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 4, 2017
Read "Najwa" CD/LP/Track Review Najwa
by John Sharpe
Published: November 29, 2017
Read "Trip" CD/LP/Track Review Trip
by Jeff Winbush
Published: September 12, 2017
Read "Popofoni" CD/LP/Track Review Popofoni
by Duncan Heining
Published: May 3, 2017