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  • Matthew Shipp                
    s new album coincidental we are assured there seems to be an urge on his part to check back in with jazz heritage to remind himself as much as anyone else just what it is that he does and why He is seeking perhaps to forceably integrate his own work into the jazz continuum even if both have to suffer a little damage as a result Shipp s work being separated from its non jazz appendages the classical canon being reduced to bare bones A considerable amount of collateral damage tonight was taken by the Vortex piano which endured some of the most vicious block chord pounding I ve seen in the venue It was pretty loud in here last Friday when Shackleton and Ekoplekz rattled the rafters with their bass bins but Shipp and Michael Bisio conspired to make more noise than I ve ever heard a piano and bass combination make We were only a few minutes in before Bisio resorted to meeting some thunderous two handed staccato hammering from Shipp by whipping at his strings with his index finger producing huge buzzy thwonks During a lengthy Jimmy Garrison esque solo during the first set he put so much into this that he looked like he might cry at the end he seemed to apply so much pressure that the friction became insurmountable the bow sticking fast on the strings for a moment creating the only moment of silence all evening He was pinching strings together running the bow up them as well as across them to create some particularly harsh and dissonant scrapes During this first set drummer Whit Dickey s contribution seemed a little opaque overly unobtrusive even too regular at times swung cymbals dissolving to such soft skitterishness that you sometimes even forgot he was

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/145-the-liminal/145-the-liminal.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp                
    The Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy New York The second disc has Shipp performing solo at Le Poisson Rouge in New York city Both shows took place in the spring of 2010 On the trio set there s definitely some telepathic hijinx going on First of all I was very glad to see Shipp reach way back for both Virgin Complex from 1994 s Critical Mass and Circular Temple 1 Circular Temple came out the following year Circular Temple was the first Matthew Shipp recording I bought and it was fun to hear those chiming arpeggios against the bowed bass in the introduction This leads into some wide open passages with the piano setting clusters adrift over percussion and pizzicato bass lines It seems like chaos wants to take over but of course that never quite happens But before we get there we have The New Fact into 3 in 1 where Shipp switches from the opening heavy dirge of chords to a temporary bit of Monk to something that sounds like Cecil Taylor if he backed off on the super heavy percussives Shipp is characteristically fleet of ideas with melodic passages woven seamlessly between short bursts of energy and aggression Behind the kit Whit Dickey frames and comments with endless variations The band drops away to allow for a virtuosic and tension building bass solo by Michael Bisio When Shipp and Dickey return and revisit the head it seems to have risen a few notches on the ominous scale Great stuff Before the set closes out with Virgin Complex it s time for the purists to be offended by Shipp s sideways interpretation of Take The A Train What a tremendous exploration of the jazz classic s harmonic possibilities For the solo set at Le Poisson

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/144-something-else/144-something-else.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp                
    and to mark the occasion he has released a monumental double CD Art of the Improviser Thirsty Ear Though not for timid ears Shipp s pianism sounds as galvanic as ever but especially on the second CD which documents a live solo piano recital Few pianists command a comparable improvisational imagination nor the technical wherewithal to realize it Shipp sounds similarly dynamic in the live trio recording of the first

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/148-chicago-trib/148-chicago-trib.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp                
    the next piece 3 In 1 with a melody line that sounds like variations of Rock a Bye Baby Shipp mines the melody and chord changes for all their worth while Dickey drives incessantly from below The remaining 3 tracks include a pair of older pieces Circular Temple 1 and Virgin Complex plus a rousing reading of Billy Strayhorn s Take The A Train The first track listed starts slowly with impressionistic piano lines over swirling cymbals and fine bowed bass As the piece moves forward the intuitive interplay of the trio captures the listener s attention At the end the music slows down as Shipp reaches into the piano to pluck the strings before diving headlong into the Strayhorn classic There are moments where the thunderous chords resemble the sound of the train moving through the tunnel or a train idling in the station Bisio s walking bass lines and Dickey s drive provide the propulsion for Shipp s musical travels Disk 1 closes with Virgin Complex replete with the composer s rich two handed piano phrases when mixed with Bisio s bowed bass lines the sound becomes a drone that rises and falls coming to a close quietly and peacefully Disk 2 is Shipp solo and it is a 39 minute journey through his fertile imagination Opening with the contemplative and thickly chorded 4 D the program moves on to explore the possibilities of Fly Me to The Moon quite impressionistic and beyond to the bruising chords and melodic explorations of Whole Tone The final 3 tracks of the CD all were featured on Shipp s 2005 solo CD One Module at times utilizes the sustain pedal to create a storm of sound that Shipp relieves with short burst of single note lines That leads into the bluesy

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/150-step-tempest/150-step-tempest.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp                
    day he says sitting in the East Village apartment that s been home for 20 years describing the business surrounding improvised jazz not the music There s no infrastructure nothing to depend on I happen to have a talent for promotion and an entrepreneurial aptitude Or else I d be dead The force and invention of Mr Shipp s playing would likely have been enough to assure not just survival but a firm footing among New York s jazz community Even on his earliest recordings some 20 years ago specifically those in a quartet led by the powerhouse saxophonist David S Ware Mr Shipp stirred up fervent rhythmic propulsion and wove fresh web like harmonic patterns His playing sounded new then and does still On his recent solo album 4D Thirsty Ear Mr Shipp s 16 track suite moves from ruminative originals to a fairly straight reading of the hymn What a Friend We Have in Jesus without once ever losing the thread of continuity He has crafted a refined language out of knotty chords emphatic crashes and bright accents all of which draw on the energy of free jazz the rudiments of modern jazz and the mood shifts of alternative pop Yet he achieves a goal elusive to most free and modern jazzers and even some alt poppers accessibility Mr Shipp 49 sidesteps the conventions of modern jazz piano even of the avant garde You ll not hear sonic reference to Mr Hancock s harmonic palette And for all his percussiveness and dissonance Mr Shipp sounds little like Cecil Taylor with whom he is often compared He thinks of himself in a lineage he calls Black mystery school pianists originating with Thelonious Monk and extending to players as disparate as Andrew Hill Sun Ra and Randy Weston That sounds

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/139-wsj/139-wsj.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp                
    1995 Zo 1997 and The Flow of X 1997 Knowing his deep knowledge and appreciation for jazz music check out his recent contribution to JazzOnline s Miles Davis podcast Ars Nova Workshop asked Rollins to share some thoughts on Shipp Here s what he had to say It is listening to Matthew Shipp s work that has always been a reminder to me that real Jazz music no matter how refined or complex it can be relies primarily on guts Jazz invariably is a visceral and raw endeavor often making Rock music seem soft in comparison For the player and the listener alike it is a total experience Matthew Shipp and his work have fascinated me since I first heard him many years ago His originality and approach sometimes stretches the limits of what is considered Jazz music yet at the same time describes perfectly the fierce freedom of it It is always great to encounter such honesty in music You know it when you hear it and it has a natural appeal but also carries a warning that you will have to deal with it on its terms I don t think Matthew has any other way of going

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/140-nova-rollins/140-nova-rollins.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp                
    been grouped with pianistic revolutionaries Thelonious Monk and Cecil Taylor an accurate if somewhat narrow comparison Truthfully Shipp s playing encompasses the history of jazz piano Hidden in his labyrinthine performances are tendrils of Duke Ellington Fats Waller Bill Evans McCoy Tyner and other innovators of the eighty eights Even a passing listen will tell you that he s smart close attention reveals that he s exponentially smarter So do

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/142-wash-city/142-wash-city.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp                
    another sphere During the first part of the concert Perelman showed signs he had a stronger and more acid edged grip than the other times he s played in the country Keeping his tone throughout the whole concert the saxophonist made his mark without ever overshadowing the other musicians Before the saxophonist made his last appearance it was Morris and Cleaver who stirred the listeners laying down as a duo a contagious circular cadence that seemed to head towards infinity This passage ended up playing a part in the divine finale epilogue in which Perelman showed a lot of people why he is one of the most outstanding free scene saxophonists in the world I don t know if this last part will be repeated in today and tomorrow s concerts or whether it was a one off that will never return What I do know is that it had such an impact it s hard to imagine that anyone present was not absorbed by the enchanting and intoxicating final sequence We will seldom get the chance again to see on a cold Thursday night someone like Matthew Shipp displaying his fine artistry Shipp is the most important name in contemporary piano playing He has entered the pantheon inhabited by Monk and Cecil Taylor Listening to Shipp and watching him makes you realize that great music doesn t need comparisons such as he plays like Coltrane or he plays like Miles With delicate melodic fragments rising over the force of his hammering left hand Shipp forges his own path his own course independent of affiliations Anyone who was there and knows Joe Morris must have been keen to see him on guitar Not that Morris hasn t got great mastery on the bass which he took up only recently He

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/141-grandiouse/141-grandiouse.html (2016-02-12)
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