Matthew Shipp Trio - New Concepts in Piano Trio Jazz

2024 CD release

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Matthew Shipp with bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Newman Taylor Baker, issue their fifth album as the most enduring of Shipp's various trios. New Concepts in Piano Trio Jazz is another vehicle for the pianist/composer in which to express his singular, intricate vision. The perpetual sea-change artist believes that this album is a substantial leap ahead of the highly regarded World Construct (ESP Disk, 2022). At the very least, New Concepts in Piano Trio Jazz allows Shipp to move his personal linguistic discipline from its origins through classical influences and into his ever-expanding universe.

Shipp literally grew up in music: listening to Ahmad Jamal when he was barely in his teens, chamber music, and Debussy for a time. He does not so much look at the juxtaposition of styles and genres as he does explore the commonality of all music, and how these elements work together or in opposition. The inner mathematician is never far from the surface. "Primal Poem" builds on all of those influences and yet holds to the Shipp lexicon. The minimal opening of "Sea Song" is swept along with Baker's brushes and then turns darker and more animated with Bisio and Shipp's forced change of direction. Led by Bisio's entrancing bass line and Shipp's quirkily modern barrelhouse "The Function" is a flawless amalgamation of blues and jazz, playing into the pianist's affinity for liberated harmonies. Even at their freest, such as on "Non-Circle," the trio infuses harmony with a significant, somewhat woozy, presence. "Tone IQ" commences in a distinctly cerebral manner, characterized by Shipp's utilization of restrained individual notes and chords, accompanied by Bisio's contentiousness and Taylor's hesitant intonations. The tempo slows, and the piece takes on a poetic feel thanks to Bisio's arco bass and Shipp's subdued phrasing. Eventually, the contrasting moods merge, managing to coexist beautifully. "Brain Work" is a piano solo in the vein of Shipp's most visceral and puzzling work.

Too much of jazz is predictable and safe, but Shipp, Bisio, and Baker continue to give listeners the element of surprise. Unabridged, New Concepts in Piano Trio Jazz has an allusive quality. The various parts that make up the whole are varied and often equivocal. The music swells with energy and painstaking detail, creating pictographs from another dimension.


SKU 825481508520
Barcode # 825481508520
Brand ESP Disk

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