Matthew Shipp

Genre: Live Show


Among contemporary pianists, several candidates can claim to embody “the future of jazz.” Among these, Matthew Shipp occupies a special place. Because, to explain his art, he is quicker to invoke Walt Whitman or Jean Genet, Master Eckhart or Mircea Eliade, the forces of nature or the forces of myth, than musical forms and formalities. Because he leads his career on the bangs of the jazz industry, preferring to pact, besides his essential participation in David S. Ware’s quartet, for fifteen years, and his contribution to the Vision Festival scene, with the radicals of rock (Patti Smith, Henry Rollins, J. Spaceman) or rap (DJ Spooky, Anti-Pop Consortium, El-P). Preferring to ensure the artistic direction of his own “blue series” on the independent label Thirsty Ear. Because he follows in the footsteps of those he calls the “Black mystery school pianists”: Thelonious Monk, Randy Weston, Andrew Hill or Sun Ra. Musicians of the depths, and of all angularities. Over the past fifteen years, Matthew Shipp has recorded five solo albums, and devoted a large part of his performances to solo escapism. In his hands, the piano seems made of erupting rocks: to listen to it is to make a “descent into the maelstrom.” He isolates a few chords, presses them down, bows them, their protruding edges gradually frosting over and breaking into a strange grind, until one or more themes, blatantly, emerge in their dʼharmonic sheaths, like obstacles placed and overridden on the keyboard, like perilously superimposed, syncopated, and heckled cuts in a resurgent speed. “When Iʼimprovise,” he explains, “I rely on small melodic cores, and polyrhythmic cells. My improvisation feeds on mental images all connected to these cores. Iʼll have an “alphabet” of often deeply mystical images and the music connects to them. My music is a product of this “inner” flow. You have to experience the power and fullness of this piano playing, this core of sounds that packs in on itself and densifies, expands and expands, but never loses its cohesive energy. A rare experience.

SKU: 00215 Category: Tag:

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