Rob Brown - Matthew Shipp: Then Now

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Rob Brown - Matthew Shipp: Then Now
Much could be written about pianist Matthew Shipp and saxophonist Rob Brown's respective legacies within progressive jazz and improvisational circles in the US and abroad. Hence, these narratives are well-documented spanning several decades. On this release, the duo aligns for the third time, following Sonic Explorations (Cadence, 1988) and Blink of an Eye (No More Records, 1997). After all these years, their collective creative sparks remain intact as they embark on a continuous construction project without blueprints via spontaneous trajectories and subtle melodies.

The duo counteracts, complements, and contrasts each other, whether its Brown's edgy attack, sweetened by Shipp's lush voicings and lots of give and take or when navigating through calming or turbulent waters. On "Then Now #6," Shipp's rolling riffs generate a horde of fluid intersections with Brown amid some cat and mouse type episodes and contrapuntal phrasings. Here, the saxophonist's fervent choruses dissect the rhythmic element along with linear outbreaks. But the duo also executes nimble encounters and easy-going storylines.

"Then Now #8" features Shipp's frenetic and swarming lines with a consortium of highs and lows. However, many subplots are devised with playful jolliness offset by conflicting intentions that are slightly ominous in nature. Moreover, Brown's broad scope also includes seething notes and upper register-based angst, resulting in a search and conquer mission, augmented by blustery frameworks towards the finale. Simply stated, the artists morph a free-form approach into a delightful union of like minds, sharing the same goals. As the music is etched with conversational tones and dialogues, steeped in emotive output that often touches the soul and what many would anticipate from these two masters.

Track Listing

Then Now #1 - #8.


Matthew Shipp: piano; Rob Brown: saxophone, alto.

Album information

Title: Then Now | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Rogue Art

Post a comment about this album


Shop Amazon


Read Alex Moxon Quartet
Alex Moxon Quartet
Alex Moxon Quartet
Read I Went This Way
I Went This Way
Rachel Musson
Read HH
Lionel Loueke
Read Dominos
Chuck Anderson
Read Secrets & Lies
Secrets & Lies
Jakko M. Jakszyk
Read Ceremonie / Musique
Ceremonie / Musique
What Happens In A Year

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place 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 effort that will help musicians 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 bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

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