Influential progressive jazz pianist/improviser, Matthew Shipp boasts an extensive discography as a group leader, soloist and in-demand session artiste. During the past three decades he's amassed an immense discography amid his affiliations with like-minded musicians representing the USA and Euro-jazz circuits. On this piano trio date, Shipp exemplifies to a very high degree, his uncanny knack for seamlessly bridging the avant-garde space with modern jazz. Unlike similar experimental or outside motivations by many of his peers, the pianist's muse is not largely shaped with tireless rampages across the eighty-eights. Via his perspicacious insights and penchant for employing harmonious content into the body of his improvised or non- improvised body of work and other facets, the pianist tenders a singular persona.
Shipp leads the trio through works designed with rhythmically based overtures, bop, and a few nods to Thelonious Monk as he eloquently transitions into and out of -tuneful hooks. But he takes the solo piano route on "Stream of Light," highlighting his acute improvisational proclivities, commencing with a staggered engineering process, gradually ascending and intertwining the lower-register with sweeping flurries and profound block chords. He incorporates a dab of Bill Evans' like warmth along with free-form musings and a melodramatic undertow while dynamically shifting the tempo throughout. Here, rolling waves coalesce with hammering accents and other factors, steeped in polytonal beauty and a multidimensional outlook. *File The Conduct of Jazz in the essential listening category.
Personnel: Matthew Shipp: piano; Michael Bisio: bass; Newman Taylor Baker:
I was first exposed to jazz as a child in Boston and at a Sun Ra concert.
I met Jaco Pastorius as a teenager in NYC.
The best show I ever attended was The Gap Band.
The first jazz record I bought was Heavy Weather.