by Stamish Malcuss
Matthew Shipp Trio
Thirsty Ear Recordings (2017)
Matthew Shipp has been busy recording with at least a half dozen albums featuring
Matthew Shipp including The Uppercut (ESP-Disk) with Polish reed player Mat
Walerian, Live in Sant'Anna Arresi, 2004 (AUM Fidelity), a duo release with the
late David S. Ware, the Bobby Kapp duo recording Cactus (Northern-Spy Records)
and The Core Trio Live Featuring Matthew Shipp (Evil Rabbit Records). All
vastly different in their aesthetic, further proving Shipp’s versatility.
The trio is comprised of bassist Michael Bisio, a regular
Shipp collaborator, the two have established a synergistic work relationship
even though Shipp approach is often asymmetrical. Drummer Newman Taylor Baker
joined Shipp's trio with the release of The Conduct of Jazz (Thirsty Ear,
2015), who as Whit Dickey’s successor, the match has proven to be an astute choice.
The piano solo "Links" begins the albums
introspective motif, a wonderful set for the hard-bop "Cosmopolitan,"
which primes the listener for what is to come.
Strikingly unique are the compositions "Blue Desert" and
"Void of Sea" while "Microwave" and "Gravity Point"
are quickly paced tunes, with block chords and angular lines for a more impactful
effect. The title track “Piano Song,” is
the closing piece and takes the listener back to a pensive finish just as it
was introduced, so is it closed out.
Creative a calming send off to a diverse program.
Like many of his previous recordings over the past 3
decades, Piano Song has deepened the visionary of Shipp, on this, his
final recording for the Thirsty Ear label, it has been announced he will
continue on as the label's Artistic Director, continuing to shape the catalog
of matchless recordings, I for one, look forward to hearing more from the
Links; Cosmopolitan; Blue Desert; Silence Of; Flying Carpet; Scrambled Brain;
Microwave; Mind Space; Void of Sea; The Nature Of; Gravity Point; Piano Song.
Matthew Shipp: piano; Michael Bisio: bass; Newman Taylor Baker: drums.