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  • Matthew Shipp
    piano figure accompanied by multiple clattering drums and William Parker s muscular bass It s a busy tussle with no one coming out a clear winner except the listener that is Shipp s playing shuffles a number of cards a particular musical phrase on each plays its turn out only to be replaced by another though it may turn up again at any point later on Shipp s acoustic piano throughout Harmony Abyss is dark meaty salty It s as though he s making pacts with his fellow players to create especially dramatic music he s trailed and shadowed by them parrying their thrusts and sometimes following their lead Shipp is always at the centre of the dark forest that grows from his piano On Virgin Complex Shipp is circled by Parker s bass and phased shaken percussion As the music travels forwards it loses its initial certainty and becomes increasingly attenuated in its dying moments it seems to hover and fly upwards Galaxy 105 comes on like a funky jam for a noir film all popping bass and tinkling out piano thrashed this way and that by Cleaver s accelerating snares String Theory is spooked by a distant industrial pulse rendered in white noise while all around it torn remnants of melody and sound flutter Blood 2 The Brain delivers impressively funky beats and bass on a parallel course to Shipp s voyaging narrative There are strains of classical orientation in Shipp s playing but they re married surprisingly successfully to Gerald Cleaver s and FLAM s funky beats There s also a distinct sense of structure of the ensemble focusing upon points of compression and release at throughout each composition Harmony Abyss is Shipp s first release as leader since last year s Equilibrium and it represents a

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/94-milkfactory/94-milkfactory.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp
    music flows around him It s as if he is sampling himself to provide melodic and rhythmic accompaniment to the proceedings Sometimes he channels the dissonance of Cecil Taylor and occasionally the elegance of Duke Ellington Bassist William Parker one of the most prolific players in avant garde jazz holds down the bottom flirting with walking blues and bop and finding a natural funky groove Drummer Gerald Cleaver might seem

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/93-tucson/93-tucson.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp
    But slagging Harmony and Abyss for what it lacks takes a position similar to dismissing In a Silent Way for keeping Miles Davis trumpet playing to a minimum while atmospherics and studio manipulation take over That attitude misses the point Like Equilibrium from last year Harmony finds Shipp heading into the world of danceable grooves jazztronica if you like in a manner that keeps the cerebral nature of his past

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/92-jazztimes/92-jazztimes.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp
    repetitive theme is ultimately developed as a piece through FLAM s judicious editing and sound processing FLAM s role in Shipp s recent efforts has been debated but in the same way that David Torn in the role of producer has added an aural breadth to some of Tim Berne s recent work so does FLAM expand upon what the musicians play giving the whole affair a unique and cohesive vibe Even though there are clear shifts on the record Galaxy 105 is a relatively unaffected free blowing piece that comes the closest to actually swinging as anything on the disk the entire record has a sense of unity String Theory may be an exercise in industrial sonics as a dense jagged rhythm sets the foundation for Shipp s brooding excursions and FLAM s synthesizers reverse looping and other textural contributions colour the space but it is ultimately of a oneness with tracks including Amino Acid which also explore more ambience and sometimes emulation of natural textures Trying to assess what to call Shipp s recent work is pointless There are elements of electronica in the timbres but there s rarely a breakbeat or techno rhythm to be found Free

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/91-allaboutjazz/91-allaboutjazz.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp
    and applauded before Getz chuckled and added I said the same thing last night in Stockholm Maybe he did maybe he didn t Ambiguity is to jazz what vulgarity is to pop music not necessary but welcome The pianist and composer Matthew Shipp who makes music that has been called jazztronica is aware that his motives for fusing acoustic free jazz with programmed funk beats synthesized drum loops samples computer programs and deejays can be easily misunderstood Until now such use of electricity has mostly been associated with chassis rattling sub woofers and volume turned up to 11 Sixties free jazz was the thinking man s soundtrack to the civil rights movement Is this only one more way to exploit honest music My generation grew up with pop music in our ears says Shipp 43 There s just no escaping it When I talk to electronic and underground hip hop artists like DJ Spooky or the Anti Pop Consortium even though we come from different areas of music our views are not that far apart As an avant garde jazzman I am trying to explore some of the same things as they are Raised in Wilmington Delaware influenced first by Ahmad Jamal and then by Cecil Taylor Shipp continues to play acoustic piano only rarely doubling on electric keyboards Technology is moving too fast for him to keep up with and he is not that interested so he surrounds himself with people who are Above all he says he is intensely concerned with maintaining the integrity of free jazz The meeting with electronic music just happened It wasn t planned The rock musician Henry Rollins a fan and former producer of his introduced Shipp to Peter Gordon whose independent rock label Thirsty Ear had released albums by people like Brian

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/90-herald/90-herald.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp
    his music evolves as full and rich rhythmically charged and unmistakably steadfast Shipp creates and directs the atmosphere and as a result becomes the atmosphere Shipp removed would deconstruct the DNA would take the flavor out of Oparin s soup The atmosphere radiates mystery and volume the melodies when in existence manufacture themselves The players with Shipp stay close They are bound together inextricably to clarify and make known that which is not known The music is dense The electronics make it so But each acoustic instrument has its place in the defining order The piano most often conducts the orchestration Parker is heard clearly whether he is in front of the music or in the backdrop Cleaver s precise and totally grooving drumming is evident in the same manner The bass and drums rise and fall as the music swells from abstraction to a completely traditional R B signature The dynamics do not really oppose each other but encourage motion Subtlety appears in the form of the slight of hand the magic of the story how the imagination of the universe essentially plays out Darkness dungeons castles shadows light some playfulness and delight Therein lies the harmony and not

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/89-jazzreview/89-jazzreview.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp
    Branford Marsalis David Sanchez Matthew Shipp Jean Michel Pilc and Clark Terry among others are releasing recordings that will appeal to listeners unversed in jazz as well as to those who know a great deal about it Considering the eloquence of the best of these recordings the anyone can listen approach only can help an industry that needs as many converts as it can find The most stunning of the forthcoming releases by far is pianist Matthew Shipp s Harmony Abyss on Thirsty Ear Though Shipp has been turning in genre defying work for several years notably on Nu Bop and Sorcerer Sessions his beguiling synthesis of jazz pop and electronics reaches a new high point and a new accessibility with this ingeniously conceived and brilliantly engineered disc More a three dimensional sonic collage than a mere recording of tunes Harmony Abyss places the listener at the center of a vortex of ambient sound Buoyant dance beats lushly synthesized colors catchy spiky piano riffs other worldly chimes and peals an extraordinary swirl of pitch rhythm and texture engulfs the listener Even for skeptics there may be no resisting the great waves of infinitely detailed acoustic and electronic sound that Shipp

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/88-chi-tribune/88-chi-tribune.html (2016-02-12)
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  • Matthew Shipp
    small group jazz records fully integrating bits of hip hop and electronics available at Amazon com Shipp s working group has ripped through several records in this vein and Harmony and Abyss showcases the near telepathic rapport they have earned The improv oriented pieces fly by at high tempos with Shipp s percussive piano at the center of the storm But the group works so well that Shipp hardly appears

    Original URL path: http://www.matthewshipp.com/press/87-xlr8r/87-xlr8r.html (2016-02-12)
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