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!

10

Matthew Shipp Trio: Root Of Things

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
The third album by pianist Matthew Shipp's trio with bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Whit Dickey persuades as their strongest yet, no mean feat after the live disc included on The Art Of The Improviser (Thirsty Ear, 2011) and Elastic Aspects (Thirsty Ear, 2012). Over the six cuts from this 2013 studio session they restate their case to be considered one of the premier contemporary piano threesomes, supremely cohesive and thoroughly convincing in Shipp's unique idiom combining insistent themes, darkly thunderous voicings and crystalline romantic lyricism.

In Bisio, whose resume boasts stints alongside multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee and saxophone iconoclast Charles Gayle, Shipp has found the perfect foil: someone who can match him blow for blow in a blizzard of notes or spin off stirring tales at the drop of a hat, while continually providing expressive plangent counterpoint. Dickey, who studied with Milford Graves and helmed David S. Ware's classic quartet for several years in the mid 1990s, while comparatively unobtrusive, adds layers of detail keenly appreciated on repeated listens. By not closing down any option, his multiple rhythms particularly suit the leader's predilection for abruptly shifting in and out of time or between tempos.

On the title track another of Shipp's trademark soulful but nagging refrains, set out in unison by piano and bass, anchors the sparkling but relaxed collective. Typically it acts as a recurring motif but doesn't necessarily trigger the ensuing extemporization. Involved group discourse remains the defining characteristic, though two lovely individual moments illuminate the aptly named "Jazz It," which veers between infectious swing and choppy interplay. In the first Shipp's reiterated chords become more and more bottom heavy before a sprightly relaunch, while later Bisio heralds a return to meter with a spine tingling sequence of downward slurred tones.

Solo introductions to the remaining numbers showcase each member of the triumvirate. Among the most notable, Bisio initiates "Path" by creating a call-and-response dynamic between his plucking and bow work, while the throbbing "Pulse Code" opens with a rare feature for Dickey in which he synthesizes Graves and Elvin Jones in an urgent boogaloo. Such parts are wonderful, but the whole is sublime.

Track Listing: Root Of Things; Jazz It; Code J; Path; Pulse Code; Solid Circut.

Personnel: Matthew Shipp: piano; Michael Bisio: bass; Whit Dickey: drums.

Title: Root Of Things | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Relative Pitch Records

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 "May I Introduce To You" CD/LP/Track Review May I Introduce To You
by James Nadal
Published: August 23, 2017
Read "Akua's Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: April 19, 2017
Read "Obsidian" CD/LP/Track Review Obsidian
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 9, 2018
Read "Karyobin" CD/LP/Track Review Karyobin
by John Eyles
Published: November 7, 2017
Read "Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)" CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Copenhagen Live 1964" CD/LP/Track Review Copenhagen Live 1964
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 30, 2017