15

Matthew Shipp: The Piano Equation

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
Matthew Shipp: The Piano Equation
Matthew Shipp is like an engineer from another dimension. In three decades of making music, he maintains an inquisitiveness for expanding new dialects and an aptitude for blending composition and exploration. Marking his sixtieth birthday, The Piano Equation reveals the pianist contemplating past experiments if only as a platform for the future; a foundation for yet another new conception. Seeing words like "equation," "vortex," or "cosmic" in Shipp's titles points to a theoretical approach that the composer's loyal audiences are accustomed to. But, as always, Shipp's artistic presentation, imaginative ideas, and technique are rarely a set-up for repeating history.

The Piano Equation captures fifteen solo originals, co-produced with Shipp's frequent colleague, drummer Whit Dickey. The compositions do not uniformly reflect whatever elevated analytics led to their development. The title track, "Piano in Hyperspace," and "Tone Pocket" feature becalming, sometimes pastoral melodies, not without the razor-sharp underscoring that jolts the ears. On "Swing Note From Deep Space" and "Clown Pulse" Shipp blends earlier jazz influences with free expression in highly-textured creations. At the most unconventional end of the spectrum, he gives us "Vortex Factor," "Radio Signals Equation" and "Cosmic Juice." Within each piece, Shipp builds near-impenetrable layers of sound, just allowing occasional streams of light to pass through.

Each track on The Piano Equation is an adventure in cryptic communication. There is tension and incendiary energy with an expansive and sophisticated architecture holding all the complexity together. In his solo projects, Shipp's large-scale improvisations lend a beefy but inviting quality to the music. It's been a long-time goal of Shipp to redefine jazz piano and—at sixty—he says that he still has "something to say." He says it here, in a language all his own.

Track Listing

Piano Equation; Swing Note from Deep Space; Piano In Hyperspace; Vortex Factor; Land of the Secrets; Void Equation; Tone Pocket; Clown Pulse; Radio Signals Equation; Emission; Cosmic Juice.

Personnel

Matthew Shipp: piano.

Album information

Title: The Piano Equation | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Tao Forms

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Another Land
Dave Holland
Native Sons
Los Lobos
Naurora
Dewa Budjana
The Last Call
Larry Coryell & Philip Catherine
Palette of Feelings
Karolis Šarkus
A Centering Peace
Brian Woodruff Sextet
Five Down Blues
Kyle Asche Organ trio

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings 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 step that will help musicians and venues 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 sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

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