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  • Matthew Shipp                
    has shared the most live and recorded experiences with throughout his career Their best known gig has been as side dudes to modern saxophone colossus David S Ware in his long standing quartet That group has sadly just called it a day at the Parker curated Vision Festival in New York City playing their last North American gig on June 18 It s been a great experience but the group has been together since 1989 and I think as a creative force the group s best work is behind us even though we are capable of putting on a good concert says Shipp I think it is best that everyone move on the group has a huge body of work behind us but I do not know how much more you can get out of that concept Matthew Shipp returned to a forgotten format earlier in 2006 with the release of One a gorgeously complex solo piano canvas This one was a long time coming explains Shipp bluntly There is so much time between solo releases because labels are afraid of making solo piano albums because they are a hard sell The impetus behind One is that it really felt like the right time for a solo CD I ve been putting my piano sound in a lot of contexts so I felt the need to force people to have to deal directly and only with the specific vocabulary that I generate on the piano He has also been keeping busy with his ongoing role as producer and curator of Thirsty Ear s treasured Blue Series a genre busting throwdown of jazz past present and future Shipp has been instrumental in seeing what happens when you say pair him and Parker with Antipop Consortium or El P or the infinite

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/102-hour/102-hour.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp                
    and there is no drummer And then there is another album on AUM Fidelity called Time is of the Essence which is Other Dimensions in Music with myself So I ve done two albums with Daniel in the past FJ Will there be a Daniel Carter Thirsty Ear session MS As a leader probably not because he doesn t really conceptualize in the way that a leader does He s a player and he likes to be in certain circumstances and play and that is what he does Thirsty Ear seems to becoming more of a conceptual thing right now other than a player s type of label It doesn t seem like it as this point Also he kind of has a psychological space that doesn t really allow for the idea of a leader He doesn t really want to be a leader of a band FJ When I spoke with S Ware he hinted about maybe doing a project for Thirsty Ear MS How long ago did you talk to him FJ A couple of weeks MS Oh OK because I have been talking to him about it The prerequisite I ve given him if he recorded it was going to be a situation where the quartet recorded and that was source material and that was handed over to somebody else who was going to slice and dice it and go inside and it and build synthetic constructions based upon it I just wasn t interested in a Ware Quartet album because there is fourteen others and we have done a lot I have been talking to him about an album but it wouldn t be like a regular album There would definitely be studio manipulation and he was really kind of nervous and scared of that I told him that if he doesn t feel comfortable that he should do it but if he does feel comfortable with it that situation it is certainly possible We actually when he said he wanted to do this Freedom Suite AUM Fidelity I thought that was a great concept for a Ware Quartet album because it kind of takes the Ware Quartet outside itself and so I had offered to do that on his label and I called Steven Joerg of AUM Fidelity mainly because Joerg is a friend of mine and Joerg called up David and talked him into doing it on AUM Fidelity so that didn t happen But apart from a concept like that that s totally different than anything the Ware Quartet has done but I would definitely not be interested in a classic Ware Quartet unless it was something else FJ DJ manipulation is a familiar mantra with the blue series via DJ Spooky and Spring Heel Jack but is that improvisation MS Well I don t really know how to define improvisation Improvisation is not really making stuff up on the spot although you can look at it that way You re taking raw material and molding it I think that it is just a further aspect of the creative process It is somebody whose maybe particularly not a musician in the traditional sense of a musician taking material and molding it using technology and that is a valid form of expression and a valid statement to explore I guess it is improvisation because the people doing that is making quick choices or not so quick because he has a lot of time but he is making choices and going with the moment FJ Having said that are DJs musicians MS Right I can t answer that because I really don t know the answer to that I m just trying to keep an open mind to get to something new I don t know Fred It depends on how you define things FJ Has the label been successful MS Financially Thirsty Ear is an established label so as far as the blue series certain releases have done very well Right now the DJ Spooky thing is not even a year old and we ve already recouped on that Our European thing has really opened up right now We pretty much have all the territories finally right now that we were after We re not even a year into the release and we ve already recouped on that My albums every one sells twice as much as the one before and I started with my first album on the label was DNA for the blue series I now have three blue series albums and the one in January will be the fourth and every one has sold in six months what has taken a year to sell the one before I basically recoup after a year so nobody is buying houses and cars but we are recouping and the label is growing FJ As artistic director for the series how much input do you give John and Ashley Spring Heel Jack MS The first album Masses was done kind of just talking to them They came to me with the idea that they wanted to use my circle of people That is why Mat Maneri Daniel Carter William and myself and I brought Guillermo in on that Since we were doing an album with Tim Berne on the label we decided to add him on that to give him more to put him in this world more since he was doing his own album So Amassed the second one they came to us with the idea of doing an album with a lot of the same tunes as Masses but using European improvisers and they wanted me on electric piano We told them to go ahead and use whoever they want and when they said Kenny Wheeler and Evan Parker that was fine with me Kenny Wheeler the first Braxton group that Kenny Wheeler played in was one of my favorite groups in music history And Han Bennink is a friend of mine

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/108-allaboutjazz-combo/108-allaboutjazz-combo.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp                
    the common energetic unit After a period of extensive experimentation involving various ensembles and guest programmers Shipp has returned to his most basic format His current CD One Thirsty Ear is a solo piano disc his fourth His EMIT performance will likewise be solo It has reminded me of my all encompassing love for the instrument he says It s a reminder that what I really am is a pianist I love the sensuousness of the sound I get on piano the swimming in it It s challenging and fun at the same time and I love being able to generate all that music from my brain to my body to the instrument Shipp s solo work is full of thunderous chords knotty lines and hard won notes He counters passages of percussive bombast with fleeting moments of lyricism His pieces are angular and unpredictable and they rarely swing in any traditional sense In many respects Shipp s pianist journey began typically classical lessons as a youngster in Wilmington Del a sudden fascination with jazz at age 12 after which he absorbed the masters Ellington Monk Coltrane Bill Evans Through it all though he had a creeping sense that he was not going to end up a conventional artist My mother had met Monk and I had another friend who talked about him a lot Shipp recounts I got off on this image of the iconoclastic composer who creates his own world One night in his early 20s he played a mainstream quartet gig and it was horrible the pianist says with a laugh A friend of mine who was older said that if all I was doing was playing like Herbie Hancock and Bill Evans there would be many bad nights to come At age 23 a few weeks

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/100-creativeloafing/100-creativeloafing.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp
    be of any other mind other than his own Confident in doing so since his late teens he has successfully detached himself from his predecessors He has successfully assimilated everything that those musicians could give him and has launched another grid system to supply food for those musicians who follow him Matt can give you swing and abstraction groove and disjointedness nonetheless seemingly scientific or dryly lyrical statements that clarify his direction and his notions of self at the time of his music s inception To talk with Matt is to talk to some one high up the intellectual ladder That ladder instantly dissolves when you recognize that you are dealing with an incontrovertible stunning purity of thought His religious though agnostic nature has led him directly to his desire to operate on a metaphysical plane He intends that his music translate that plane into a cosmic picture where the questions he asks evolve into answers in the soundscape the resultant form taken by the vibrations his instrument emanates The color of your music is dark and deep I say full of heavy handed chords and repetitions The reason perhaps Matt says is that the music is like a prophecy from the Old Testament the music comes from a place in the mind that can be construed as dark the place of inquiry answers back in the darkness Pervading Matt s drive and applicable every time he plays is his participation in a singular effort to create the universe His creative process rests in what he dubs The Abyss where there is nothing and everything simultaneously whence radiates the source and the reflection of who he is and was and shall become His body disintegrates into the music He is controlled by his amorphous will He beautifully analogizes his own music making with the grand processes of the big bang and evolution What s cool about the big bang is that a singularity ejaculates into nascent nebulous gas which hardens into forms that are fluid through evolution and all built up from some type of basic building blocks which is the same process when trying to build an improv from a cell on the piano This task is not small nor simple It requires his focus dedication and commitment to it to convert the it ness into sound Matt has recorded many times with groups as a leader He is no different with a group than he is without a band in terms of his universe creating tendencies He just has to let the people into his mind and space and time Within those performances the group has to make deep almost telepathic connections so that it works as one super Mind The members of the band have to be people of the same orientation as Matt is He confesses that those musicians to whom he is the closest to whom he feels like a brother are violist Mat Maneri bassist William Parker and drummer Gerald Cleaver When Matt works

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/99-jazzreview/99-jazzreview.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp
    if all of Shipp s influences are coming together in an original mixture the repeated classically inspired piano phrases of Ion and New ID producer Chris Flam s programmed beats Shipp and Flam s synthesizer accents Gerald Cleaver s hip hop drumming William Parker s low end anchor This is spacey heady stuff music to do equations by and the longer tracks get the time they need to develop Blood 2 the Brain proceeds for six minutes with Parker s persistent riffing Shipp s minor chords and Flam s tape loops and Amino Acid offers hand drumming galloping hooves and what sounds in the background to be a gathering storm These tracks burrow into your subconscious The Trio Plays Ware Shipp Parker Brown The music Matthew Shipp has made with the David S Ware Quartet bypasses the mind and goes straight for the spirit What Shipp and Parker share with Ware is a commitment to something greater nothing short of transcendence that can best be reached through music Current quartet drummer Guillermo E Brown joins the pianist and bassist to perform the leader s music without that indelible tenor saxophone and the results are startling You keep waiting for Ware

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/98-allaboutjazz-2/98-allaboutjazz-2.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp
    a backdrop of modern classical avant garde and IDM Intelligent Dance Music This album showed off Shipp s unique style of piano playing he wavers from brash and rhythmic to subtle and sprinkled Other artists have combined jazz and electronica but they often structure their music starting with a laptop Shipp alone approaches this meld from a jazz perspective For the past several years Shipp has worked on fine tuning this sound with the help of his Blue Series The series allows Shipp to collaborate with many diverse artists such as drum n bass group Spring Heel Jack and turntablist DJ Spooky On his latest album Harmony and Abyss also a part of the Blue Series Shipp returns to his regular cast of band members featuring William Parker on bass Gerald Cleaver on drums and FLAM with programming Harmony and Abyss is much mellower than albums such as Nu Bop But Shipp and company sound more comfortable and ready to continue exploring territories not yet covered Harmony and Abyss allows the ambient tones to breathe much more than in the past Yet strangely this is one of Shipp s most accessible albums for audiences not accustomed to avant jazz Most

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/97-minndaily/97-minndaily.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp
    and real time expression is mutable available at Amazon com The material on most of the tracks is simple and at its best evocative Virgin complex has the plaintive sound of a folk hymn While Shipp enunciates the theme on piano William Parker murmurs on bass and FLAM provides the electronic atmospherics that place this church service on a dismal moor That musical weather front extends into string theory which is given over to the bleeps blips and swooshes of FLAM s electronics Here and on the opening two tracks ion and new ID the presence of master bassist Parker and bright young star Gerald Cleaver on drums seems superfluous The drummer locks in hip hop beats firmly and Parker thumps out steady underpinnings but both are about as anonymous as they can get So it s a pleasure when on galaxy 105 the trio has at some hard swinging free bop Cleaver kicks the trio along mightily Parker s bass lines set the speakers to quivering and Shipp plays one piano register off another The electronic and acoustic elements merge for the most part notably on blood 2 the brain where Cleaver s drumming rises through the circuitry and

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/96-onefinalnote/96-onefinalnote.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp
    so polyrhythmically charged and percussive to begin with that the extra beats just ratchet up the intensity With FLAM slyly altering the decay of Shipp s pinging Morse code piano New ID is as much about pitch variation as it is about rhythm it could be something by James Tenney but with urgency and humor My other current favorite is Virgin Complex where FLAM s mechanical whoosh blends handsomely with William Parker s regal bowing Heady stuff though admittedly more conducive to nervous pacing than dancing more my style anyway Those who prefer their Shipp straight up will want to search for The Trio Plays Ware an Italian import featuring David S Ware s rhythm section Shipp Parker and drummer Guillermo E Brown having a go at his tunes without him The most immediately appealing of these are Dinosauria bluesy and Godspelized rollicking but the one that stays with you the longest is Doa Forms a handful of Asian sounding scales that elicit from Shipp probing and reflective lines that wouldn t have sounded out of place on Kind of Blue Harmonies and Abysses Robert Christgau Harmony and Abyss Thirsty Ear My tastes in piano run to five fingered banging

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/95-voice/95-voice.html (2016-02-12)
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