Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

20

Matthew Shipp: Zero

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
In a recent interview with Jazz Trail's Filipe Freitas, pianist/composer Matthew Shipp talked about returning to his long-standing inquiry into how spontaneous free improvisation develops. His thought process involves "the same metaphysical concepts that have always been what I ask -how things come out of nothing?" Shipp's line of questioning is strikingly close in its relationship to the concepts of a physical universe arising from "nothing," the nothing being the energy of empty space. Shipp—like physicists—expresses a fascination with what emerges from the abyss, but his creative process is not wedded to any particular theory. His new piano solo release Zero is not—by Shipp's own description—a concept album, though many of the song titles would indicate otherwise. Like the rest of his solo work, it is completely enthralling.

Zero comes only months after Shipp's live solo Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich (Hatology, 2017). The title track is not the "Zero" that appeared on Shipp's One (Thirsty Ear Recordings, 2005), also a solo release. In this particular piece, as in the closing counterpart "After Zero," Shipp lays out a microcosm of the program. These compositions are, at various times, lyrical, edgy or just beyond explanation. There are pieces more overtly lyrical, sometimes with classical overtones such as "Abyss Before Zero," "Cosmic Sea" and "Zero Subtract From Jazz." The disjointed melodies and abstractions of "Pole After Zero," "Piano Panels" and "Ghost Pattern" are somewhat traditionally organized but still absorbing and mysterious. More enigmatic are the wide open excursions on "Zero Skip and a Jump" and "Pattern Emerge." "Blue Equation," true to its title, has the blues bouncing off Shipp's geometric angles.

By the time Shipp had released his first solo album Symbol Systems (No More, 1995) comparisons to the familiar cadre of avant-garde and free jazz pianists should have been considered irrelevant. Shipp's approach and style of playing have long been uniquely his and easily identifiable, in large part because of the intangible way he thinks about music, and the way he doesn't. Zero gives us the expressive assurance that Shipp's approach—as solidly based in acumen as in musical virtuosity—continues to demand thoughtful listening. No concept necessary.

The CD format of Zero includes a spoken-word bonus disc, "Zero: A Lecture on Nothingness."

Track Listing: Zero; Abyss Before Zero; Pole After Zero; Piano Panels; Cosmic Sea; Zero Skip and a Jump; Zero Subtract From Jazz; Blue Equation; Pattern Emerge; Ghost Pattern; After Zero.

Personnel: Matthew Shipp: piano.

Title: Zero | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: ESP Disk

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Thesis

Thesis

Matthew Shipp
Duos With Mat Maneri & Joe...

4D

4D

Matthew Shipp
4D

Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Year in Review
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Signature

Signature

ESP Disk
2019

buy
New American Songbooks, Volume 2

New American...

Pleasure Of Text Records
2019

buy
Sonic Fiction

Sonic Fiction

ESP Disk
2018

buy
Symbol Systems

Symbol Systems

Hatology
2018

buy
Zero

Zero

ESP Disk
2018

buy
New American Songbooks, Volume 2

New American...

Pleasure Of Text Records
2018

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Feb25Mon
Matthew Shipp Trio
Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
New York, NY
Mar5Tue
Shipp/lowe/cleaver/ray
Roulette
Brooklyn, NY
$18

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Friendly Signs Album Reviews
Friendly Signs
By Don Phipps
February 22, 2019
Read The Adventures of Mr Pottercakes Album Reviews
The Adventures of Mr Pottercakes
By Roger Farbey
February 22, 2019
Read Free Fall Album Reviews
Free Fall
By Glenn Astarita
February 22, 2019
Read The Largo And The Lame Album Reviews
The Largo And The Lame
By Mark Corroto
February 22, 2019
Read Sun Of Goldfinger Album Reviews
Sun Of Goldfinger
By Dan McClenaghan
February 22, 2019
Read Paint The Sky Album Reviews
Paint The Sky
By Andrew J. Sammut
February 21, 2019
Read God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be Album Reviews
God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be
By Karl Ackermann
February 21, 2019