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  • Matthew Shipp                
    Many have incorporated hip hop rap and electronics stretching Shipp s following beyond the narrow confines of the jazz ghetto However the pianist s work over the last period has focused largely on the acoustic keyboard in formats familiar from the jazz vernacular Typical of a Shipp performance the trio proffered a free flowing exposition across two unbroken sets totaling some 100 minutes during which they touched on the leader s own compositions standards including Someday My Prince Will Come and Green Dolphin Street as well as other less traditional songs Rather than forming the basis for the ongoing threeway improvisations the songs acted as milestones along the way anchors which grounded the flights of fancy and provided punctuation among the swirling colloquy Shipp has a unique style almost impetuous in his virtuosity alternating between reiterated motifs melodic fragments thunderous crashes from the heels of his hands cleanly articulated sparkling lines and a shimmying circular motion pawing and swiping at the keys which produced the piano equivalent of a drone Threaded throughout were the references like the pummeling Frères Jacques interpolated into one of his own pieces Sometimes he would play a tune with his right hand while almost obsessively pounding the bass register with the flat of his left hand Such was the level of responsiveness that it seemed the threesome could explore any byway they chose A hammered kernel from Shipp saw Bisio leaning his bass at an angle to better slap at his E string When the pianist took a jazzy line the bassist instantaneously morphed into a walking pattern and Dickey picked up the meter on his ride cymbal only to mutate again not very much later Of course the interplay ran far beyond a simple cause and effect When Shipp hinted at Green Dolphin Street in fragmented manner Bisio took up his bow again for an oblique adventure largely parallel to the trajectory of the pianist and drummer As Shipp toyed with the familiar strains the bassist conducted an arco masterclass his hyperspeed bowing just above the bridge causing his whole body to shake Ultimately their changes of direction were like those of a flock of wheeling birds where it is impossible to tell who leads and who follows Bisio was a monster his slightly languorous appearance belied his intense musicality and ringing tone whether matching Shipp blow for blow or purveying sidelong commentary Having spent many years on the left coast in Seattle the bassist returned to his native New York state in 2006 taking up the role of bass instructor at the prestigious Bennington College in Vermont Since returning he has also helmed his own formidable fourpiece which has four well received releases featuring his own charts including the stellar Live At Vision Festival XII Not Two 2008 During the first set Bisio echoed and expanded a tumbling piano phrase until his trampolining figure transmuted into a marvelous bass solo He took up the bow hanging from his trousers to begin a rasping

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/155-aaj/155-aaj.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp                
    Improviser which features trio performances on one disc and solo improvisations on the other In a recent interview Shipp noted the contrast between the very crunchy dark sound of the trio cuts and the almost concert hall sound of the solo tracks The trio was recorded live at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy N Y The solo performances are from a gig at the hip New York club Le Poisson Rouge It s two slightly different aspects of me says Shipp 50 whose often volcanic attack has helped to earn him a rock following But he s equally capable of eliciting sounds of subtle beauty Shipp s recordings reflect a vast range of musical influences including pianist composers Thelonious Monk and Frédéric Chopin I like Chopin because he s an insane poet of the piano Shipp says And I like the poetic imagination of Monk I m interested in music not genres Although Shipp is strongly associated with the jazz avant garde some of his compositions such as Visions on the 2000 album Pastoral Composure wouldn t have been out of place on a straight ahead Blue Note recording of the 1960s Apart from his own

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/156-st-louis/156-st-louis.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp                
    set the first disc captures Shipp performing live with Michael Bisio on bass and Whit Dickey on drums while the second disc is a solo recital The trio music is continuously interactive and exciting leading off with The New Fact where trio led by Shipp s fast deep piano plumbs oceanic depths of music then develops into rapid trio interplay weaving into patiently probing lengthy bass solo Read more Free Jazz By Paul Acquaro It begins all sustain and fury a forceful melody and thick harmony raining down The strident melody of The New Fact is unleashed on the first beat and driven even harder when the drums and bass join in Then the floor drops out and pianist Matthew Shipp lays into a spirited improvisation that is buoyed by the restrained propulsion of the rhythm section What a start to this recording a two disc set of separate 2010 concert dates featuring Shipp alone and with his trio of bassist Micheal Bisio and drummer Whit Dickey Read more The Paradigm for Beauty by Lyn Horton the Matthew Shipp Trio played in celebration of Shipp s new release a double CD called The Art of the Improviser on the Thirsty

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/153-blog-on-imp/153-blog-on-imp.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp                
    I suspect they both represent the furthest point many casual listeners will bother to explore THE OPENING MOMENTS of the two disc set are bracing The theme of The New Fact is as dramatic and declamatory as you re likely to find in jazz or free music or whatever it is you choose to call it It sounds like something you d find on a rock or hip hop album That s no accident Shipp has spent a great deal of energy working with artists like Spring Heel Jack DJ Spooky Antipop Consortium and El P as well as curating the Blue Series for Thirsty Ear trying not to incorporate elements of but to identify the point where free music and these other forms meet From there the quick dissolve into what makes him Shipp the musical history lesson Fatha Hines to Cecil Taylor to Matthew Shipp Sure he s digested all of jazz history and he can quote it reinterpret it make sense of it all That s what he s been doing for several decades now But what he s up to circa 2010 11 is including himself in that progression He s considering his place the dot on the timeline that bears his name Because it s there If there s one thing I m sure of it s that Matthew Shipp has become in fact has long been a jazz piano master The trio portion of the double album features Michael Bisio on bass and longtime associate Whit Dickey on drums How s your endurance for an ensemble with no horn If any group can make you sit still for the first disc s running time it s this one Then you re on to disc two the solo portion SOLO PERFORMANCES ARE a test for player and listener alike They are an individual on a naked plain with no refuge no hiding place no cover That s as true here as it is on The Koln Concert or on Vijay Iyer s recent solo recording A solo performance is the artist declaring Here I am no tricks take me or leave me For a listener it is the challenge of active listening of leaving behind their desire for melody and interplay Sitting still listening Shipp s solo work is encyclopaedic Take a hundred and fifty years worth of music on paper on wax cylinder on vinyl CD as sound file and blend until coherent And beautiful HE HAS A massive body of work that won t be served by a compilation was a jazz artist s work ever served by a Greatest Hits package or better yet those godawful Love Songs compilations so future generations are going to need a starting point I d say this might be a good one This would be the place to hear what Bartok sounds like rubbing shoulders with barrelhouse hard bop and fire music Fifty years from now when neophytes and college students want to namecheck a jazz

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/152-this-music/152-this-music.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp                
    bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Whit Dickey The first disc presents Shipp s trio recorded live in Troy NY in April 2010 The five lengthy tracks act as a summation of his career so far pulling music from previous releases as far back as Critical Mass 213CD 1995 and The Multiplication Table hatOLOGY 1997 some of which he reworked on the more recent Harmony And Abyss Thirsty Ear 2004 Shipp often works with big themes here he commands a steady swinging groove on The New Fact while trickling his two handed improvisational explorations By returning to the theme he allows the audience to follow his logic Likewise when he takes on a monument like Take The A Train his dissection is not unlike a DJ s collage of sounds where snatches of the familiar melody flash by as if trying to read graffiti on a passing boxcar The trio also pursues his early classic composition Circular Temple with a reverence for the open chamber free piece plotting a persistent course of freedom with as much confidence as the younger Shipp demonstrated when he first recorded it The solo CD delivers some very inspired music making a reminder that the language

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/149-all-about-jazz/149-all-about-jazz.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp                
    section with whom he shared a telepathic rapport They ve played on and off together for getting on for twenty years and this paid off each was stretched no coasting and no hesitation From a quiet yet angular piano passage bassist Michael Bisio joined with restraint then drummer Whit Dickey came in really tight and they took off in a well meshed almost mainstream flow almost keeps cropping up because despite the homage to the repertoire it was a consistently idiosyncratic take which maintained a freshness eschewing any hint of complacency Shipp s rocking stroking arm action seems to lift complex pattering runs from the keyboard but also the convincingly military style marching chords of Johnny Comes Marching Home Shipp would drop his head right down spectacles off Miles style in concentration and Dickey with torso virtually static also adopted a head down posture as his arms did the work whether quietly on cymbals or a powering tempo in synch with Bisio s physical hands on technique Bisio hammered his bass so hard at one point that it raised the spectre of a forefinger flying across the room his was such a varied way of working the bass sometimes held at forty five degrees as the bow both scraped and stroked the strings at others he d clasp it close hunched over as he picked out the notes reminiscent of David Izenzon s range with Ornette s trio Shipp drew the trio along through textures and layers dwelling for some time on Green Dolphin Street and Tenderly both just recognisable yet unmistakeable and possibly Coltrane s Spiritual letting in reflections of Tyner with whom Shipp shares affinities then hints of Red Garland and Monk even Dolo Coker This was a sophisticated set of reflections and explorations with a serious dip

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/147-london-jazz-blogspot/147-london-jazz-blogspot.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp                
    other concert I attended recently where the groups numbers ranged from one person to seven or more The trio simply works so consistently and tightly that its impact as one organism defies criticism and invites only praises And for an improvising group to have formed a web that is so closely knit is indeed rare and notable in fact kind of remarkable Shipp is indubitably the leader He strikes the match that initially lights the fire The pianist forges ahead in a state of consciousness that is apart from any that collectively we can know Bassist Bisio and drummer Dickey board this plane of burning energy with equally as much fervor supplying Shipp with the support he has earned and deserves Shipp has acclimated himself to chordal structures yet those structures find new definition new positioning between more rhythmically nuanced and less intense subtly arranged phrasings Those phrasings become the breathing room for the blasts that follow whether in renderings of a jazz standard or gospel tune towards which Shipp leans or of a childhood song like Frere Jacques which he once described as a means to get out his frustration by pounding the keyboard with double handed chords An inappropriate word to describe Shipp s music is abstract He has developed his own musical language and logic which bows substantially to the history of piano playing but is not exclusively riveted to that history The music rallies around his spirituality as it paradoxically merges with his intelligence itself invested in the awareness of the stars planets intergalactic gases or dust and the unfathomable mystery of the way in which totality and beyond works His music is a means of demonstrating that he just does not care about everyday drudgery and would rather be breathing fresh air than standing in a subway car His music operates as poetry the shifting in and out of formalized repeated resonance to lullaby is intentional That he has been touched by a Yogic master is Shipp s gift to his audience The bold broadness with which Bisio performs either using pizzicato or arco technique clearly shows his passion for his instrument and the music he plays with it As he looks up with his eyes closed and his lips un pursed his facial expressions tell of a deep sensitivity to weaving his sound throughout the large picture painted by Shipp and Dickey When he solos he wills himself as a one man orchestra It isn t the separate notes he hits that matter it is how he connects from pizzed pitch to gliss to bowing The imaginable throbbing of the vibrations that surround him resembles how force fields can exude from any radiant form Bisio has an amazing sense of rhythm that does not wane for a second as he progresses in a tuneless mode of stroking the strings Often he stomps his right foot a manifestation of an inner pulse wanting to free itself from his body as well as from his instrument

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/151-lyn-horton/151-lyn-horton.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp                
    and longtime drummer Whit Dickey He tackles newer songs like 4D and older tracks like Circular Temple 1 as well as oft covered standards like Take the A Train It doesn t fully capture Shipp s oeuvre but nothing short of a boxed set could What it does offer is a snapshot of the artist today a constantly striving artist who is increasingly able to bridge the distance between lyrical classicism and questing exploration And no I don t write that as someone who gets everything Shipp does Far from it But I get enough to keep me digging TIRBD The press materials for your new album state that for the better part of fifty years Matthew Shipp has been on a tireless journey to innovate a musical language At first that brought a chuckle thinking of you in diapers nearly 50 years ago trying to innovate a musical language But then I stopped and wondered At what age did you actually start playing music and at what age do you feel you began creating a musical language of your own as opposed to recreating that of others MS I started at 5 got serious at 12 with classical started jazz at about 14 As far as really trying to find myself on an instrument that started around 18 but I love the image you have of being in diapers and trying to innovate a musical language At 18 my style was part McCoy Tyner part Bill Evans but I was cognizant that I was looking for myself even though I used that style to do regular gigs This release offers two sides of your performing persona solo and as part of a group Do you prefer one over the other What does each afford that the other does not No I do whatever is before me My focus will be on the trio though for that is a direct link to the jazz tradition even though I have said some things that could be construed as anti jazz trad I am looking for a way to fit in that tradition believe it or not I love solo also because as a pianist there is such a great tradition of solo keyboard work including Bach Chopin Debussy Tatum Monk s beautiful solos Cecil etc etc What did you take away from your work curating the Blue Series for Thirsty Ear From the outside it seems to have afforded you the opportunity to expand your sonic palette considerably It takes me outside myself which as an artist it is so easy to be completely self absorbed but bringing in other people and having a hand in some CDs is very gratifying because it reminds you that there is a whole big world of music out here and it s not just about you And it s easy to think it s just about you because it s so hard to survive as a jazz musician that that mindset kicks in just

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/146-trbd/146-trbd.html (2016-02-12)
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