MATTHEW SHIPP
Avant-Garde Jazz / Jazz Related Improv/Composition / (Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion • United States

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Matthew Shipp was born December 7, 1960 in Wilmington, Delaware. He started piano at 5 years old with the regular piano lessons most kids have experienced. He fell in love with jazz at 12 years old. After moving to New York in 1984 he quickly became one of the leading lights in the New York jazz scene. He was a sideman in the David S. Ware quartet and also for Roscoe Mitchell’s Note Factory before making the decision to concentrate on his own music.

Mr Shipp has reached the holy grail of jazz in that he possesses a unique style on his instrument that is all of his own- and he’s one of the few in jazz that can say so. Mr. Shipp has recorded a lot of albums with many labels but his 2 most enduring relationships have been with two labels. In the 1990s he recorded a
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Thanks to kazuhiro for the addition and snobb for the updates

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Piano SutrasPiano Sutras
Thirsty Ear 2013
Audio CD$11.82
$8.98 (used)
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ANTIPOP VS MATTHEW SHIPP Antipop Consortium CD European Third Ear 2003 9 Track ANTIPOP VS MATTHEW SHIPP Antipop Consortium CD European Third Ear 2003 9 Track USD $6.91 Buy It Now 3h
PIANO VORTEX-MATTHEW SHIPP  CD NEW PIANO VORTEX-MATTHEW SHIPP CD NEW USD $17.55 Buy It Now 4h
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Ivo Perelman Quartet CD *Sealed* Hour of Star-Matthew Shipp/Joe Morris-Free Jazz Ivo Perelman Quartet CD *Sealed* Hour of Star-Matthew Shipp/Joe Morris-Free Jazz USD $8.99 Buy It Now 21h
WALERIAN, Mat/MATTHEW SHIPP/HAMID DRAKE - Jungle: Live At Okuden - CD (2xCD) WALERIAN, Mat/MATTHEW SHIPP/HAMID DRAKE - Jungle: Live At Okuden - CD (2xCD) USD $18.35 Buy It Now 23h
Matthew Shipp - Broken Partials with Joe Morris [New CD] Spain - Import Matthew Shipp - Broken Partials with Joe Morris [New CD] Spain - Import USD $16.47 Buy It Now 1 day
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New: ANTIPOP CONSORTIUM: Anti-Pop Consortium Vs Matthew Shipp  Audio CD New: ANTIPOP CONSORTIUM: Anti-Pop Consortium Vs Matthew Shipp Audio CD USD $11.64 Buy It Now 1 day
MATTHEW SHIPP - Nu Bop - CD - **Excellent Condition** MATTHEW SHIPP - Nu Bop - CD - **Excellent Condition** USD $12.95 Buy It Now 2 days
MATTHEW SHIPP - EQUILIBRIUM USED - VERY GOOD CD MATTHEW SHIPP - EQUILIBRIUM USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $16.67 Buy It Now 2 days
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Enigma by Gerald Cleaver/Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp/Whit Dickey (CD, 2013) Enigma by Gerald Cleaver/Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp/Whit Dickey (CD, 2013) USD $12.99 Buy It Now 2 days
SHIPP,MATTHEW-MATTHEW SHIPP TRIO: TO DUKE (SPA)  CD NEW SHIPP,MATTHEW-MATTHEW SHIPP TRIO: TO DUKE (SPA) CD NEW USD $17.53 Buy It Now 2 days
ROB BROWN & MATTHEW SHIPP - Blink Of An Eye - CD - **Mint Condition** ROB BROWN & MATTHEW SHIPP - Blink Of An Eye - CD - **Mint Condition** USD $22.95 Buy It Now 2 days
Matthew Shipp - New Orbit (CD Used Like New) Matthew Shipp - New Orbit (CD Used Like New) USD $13.64 Buy It Now 3 days
NEW Anti-Pop Consortium Vs Matthew Shipp (Audio CD) NEW Anti-Pop Consortium Vs Matthew Shipp (Audio CD) USD $20.76 Buy It Now 3 days
ROB BROWN & MATTHEW SHIPP - Blink Of An Eye - CD ROB BROWN & MATTHEW SHIPP - Blink Of An Eye - CD USD $22.75 Buy It Now 3 days
MATTHEW SHIPP TRIO - EXPANSION, POWER, RELEASE NEW CD MATTHEW SHIPP TRIO - EXPANSION, POWER, RELEASE NEW CD USD $26.88 Buy It Now 3 days
Matthew Shipp; Mat Maneri; ...-By The Law  (UK IMPORT)  CD NEW Matthew Shipp; Mat Maneri; ...-By The Law (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $16.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Nu Bop - Matthew Shipp Compact Disc Nu Bop - Matthew Shipp Compact Disc USD $17.31 Buy It Now 3 days
Antipop Consortium - Antipop vs. Matthew Shipp (CD 2003) Antipop Consortium - Antipop vs. Matthew Shipp (CD 2003) USD $4.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Matthew Shipp's New Orbit - Matthew Shipp (CD 2001) Matthew Shipp's New Orbit - Matthew Shipp (CD 2001) USD $12.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Pastoral Composure - Matthew Shipp Quartet (CD 2000) Pastoral Composure - Matthew Shipp Quartet (CD 2000) USD $6.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Matthew Shipp's New Orbit by Matthew Shipp's New Orbit (CD, Jan-2001, Thirsty... Matthew Shipp's New Orbit by Matthew Shipp's New Orbit (CD, Jan-2001, Thirsty... USD $12.89 Buy It Now 4 days
The Art of Perelman-Shipp, Vol. 7: Dione by Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp CD NEW The Art of Perelman-Shipp, Vol. 7: Dione by Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp CD NEW USD $14.31 Buy It Now 4 days
Art of the Improviser - Matthew Shipp Compact Disc Art of the Improviser - Matthew Shipp Compact Disc USD $20.81 Buy It Now 4 days
Harmony and Abyss - Matthew Shipp Compact Disc Harmony and Abyss - Matthew Shipp Compact Disc USD $19.62 Buy It Now 4 days
Matthew Shipp - Nu Bop (CD Used Like New) Matthew Shipp - Nu Bop (CD Used Like New) USD $14.25 Buy It Now 4 days
MATTHEW SHIPP & MAT MANERI - Gravitational Systems - CD - Import - *SEALED/NEW* MATTHEW SHIPP & MAT MANERI - Gravitational Systems - CD - Import - *SEALED/NEW* USD $60.49 Buy It Now 4 days
Piano Sutras - Matthew Shipp Compact Disc Piano Sutras - Matthew Shipp Compact Disc USD $17.36 Buy It Now 4 days
Greatest Hits - Matthew Shipp Compact Disc Greatest Hits - Matthew Shipp Compact Disc USD $17.36 Buy It Now 4 days
Pastoral Composure - Matthew Shipp Compact Disc Pastoral Composure - Matthew Shipp Compact Disc USD $18.27 Buy It Now 4 days
Dna - Matthew Shipp Compact Disc Dna - Matthew Shipp Compact Disc USD $18.27 Buy It Now 4 days
I've Been To Many Places - Matthew Shipp (CD Used Very Good) I've Been To Many Places - Matthew Shipp (CD Used Very Good) USD $12.82 Buy It Now 5 days
MATTHEW SHIPP & SABIR MATEEN - Sama Live In Moscow - CD - Import - *SEALED/NEW* MATTHEW SHIPP & SABIR MATEEN - Sama Live In Moscow - CD - Import - *SEALED/NEW* USD $31.95 Buy It Now 5 days
MATTHEW SHIPP/ANTIPOP CONSORTIUM - THE FIGHT OF THE CENTURY: ANTI-POP CONSORTIUM MATTHEW SHIPP/ANTIPOP CONSORTIUM - THE FIGHT OF THE CENTURY: ANTI-POP CONSORTIUM USD $16.55 Buy It Now 5 days
Antipop Consortium Vs. Matthew Shipp - Anti-Pop Consortium (CD Used Like New) Antipop Consortium Vs. Matthew Shipp - Anti-Pop Consortium (CD Used Like New) USD $13.68 Buy It Now 5 days
Matthew Shipp - Declared Enemy: Salute to 100001 Stars [New CD] Spain - Import Matthew Shipp - Declared Enemy: Salute to 100001 Stars [New CD] Spain - Import USD $16.67 Buy It Now 5 days
Darius Jones and Matthew Shipp - Cosmic Lieder [CD] Darius Jones and Matthew Shipp - Cosmic Lieder [CD] USD $16.30 Buy It Now 5 days
Darius Jones and Matthew Shipp - The Darkseid Recital [CD] Darius Jones and Matthew Shipp - The Darkseid Recital [CD] USD $16.30 Buy It Now 5 days
David S Ware and Matthew Shipp Duo - Live In SantAnna Arresi 2004 [CD] David S Ware and Matthew Shipp Duo - Live In SantAnna Arresi 2004 [CD] USD $16.38 Buy It Now 5 days
GOOD AND EVIL JAPAN CD William Parker Matthew Shipp SS GOOD AND EVIL JAPAN CD William Parker Matthew Shipp SS USD $23.24 Buy It Now 5 days
Conduct Of Jazz - Matthew Shipp 700435721128 (CD Used Like New) Conduct Of Jazz - Matthew Shipp 700435721128 (CD Used Like New) USD $12.10 Buy It Now 5 days
Ware David S./Matthew Shipp-Live In Sant`Anna Arresi 2004  CD NEW Ware David S./Matthew Shipp-Live In Sant`Anna Arresi 2004 CD NEW USD $16.23 Buy It Now 5 days
Piano Vortex - Matthew Shipp (CD Used Very Good) Piano Vortex - Matthew Shipp (CD Used Very Good) USD $12.44 Buy It Now 5 days
Ivo Perelman / Matthew Shipp - Corpo [New CD] Ivo Perelman / Matthew Shipp - Corpo [New CD] USD $14.94 Buy It Now 6 days
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MATTHEW SHIPP - BEFORE THE WORLD - JAZZ CD ALBUM 1997 FMP MATTHEW SHIPP - BEFORE THE WORLD - JAZZ CD ALBUM 1997 FMP USD $26.29 Buy It Now 6 days
MATTHEW SHIPP - Circular Temple - CD - **Excellent Condition** MATTHEW SHIPP - Circular Temple - CD - **Excellent Condition** USD $18.95 Buy It Now 6 days
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MATTHEW SHIPP - New Orbit - CD - **Excellent Condition** MATTHEW SHIPP - New Orbit - CD - **Excellent Condition** USD $15.49 Buy It Now 7 days
Matthew Shipp, Nu Bop, Excellent Matthew Shipp, Nu Bop, Excellent USD $7.99 Buy It Now 7 days
DARIUS JONES (SAXOPHONE)/MATTHEW SHIPP - COSMIC LIEDER [DIGIPAK] USED - VERY GOO DARIUS JONES (SAXOPHONE)/MATTHEW SHIPP - COSMIC LIEDER [DIGIPAK] USED - VERY GOO USD $14.84 Buy It Now 7 days
Matthew Shipp - Matthew Shipp's New Orbit [New CD] Matthew Shipp - Matthew Shipp's New Orbit [New CD] USD $14.63 Buy It Now 7 days
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MATTHEW SHIPP QUARTET - CRITICAL MASS - JAZZ CD ALBUM 1995 213CD MATTHEW SHIPP QUARTET - CRITICAL MASS - JAZZ CD ALBUM 1995 213CD USD $15.22 Buy It Now 7 days
PERELMAN, IVO / MATTHEW SHIPP-Corpo  CD NEW PERELMAN, IVO / MATTHEW SHIPP-Corpo CD NEW USD $18.39 Buy It Now 7 days
MATTHEW SHIPP/ANTIPOP CONSORTIUM - THE FIGHT OF THE CENTURY: ANTI-POP CONSORTIUM MATTHEW SHIPP/ANTIPOP CONSORTIUM - THE FIGHT OF THE CENTURY: ANTI-POP CONSORTIUM USD $16.94 Buy It Now 8 days
Anti-Pop Consortium - Antipop Consortium Vs. Matthew Shipp [CD New] Anti-Pop Consortium - Antipop Consortium Vs. Matthew Shipp [CD New] USD $15.68 Buy It Now 8 days
Matthew Shipp - Broken Partials With Joe Morris (CD Used Like New) Matthew Shipp - Broken Partials With Joe Morris (CD Used Like New) USD $14.47 Buy It Now 8 days
Perelman, Ivo / Matthew Shipp-The Art Of The Duet CD NEW Perelman, Ivo / Matthew Shipp-The Art Of The Duet CD NEW USD $18.39 Buy It Now 8 days
Matthew Shipp - Piano Sutras [CD New] Matthew Shipp - Piano Sutras [CD New] USD $14.71 Buy It Now 9 days
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PERELMAN, IVO / MATTHEW SHIPP-The Edge CD NEW PERELMAN, IVO / MATTHEW SHIPP-The Edge CD NEW USD $18.39 Buy It Now 9 days
Matthew Shipp - 4d [CD New] Matthew Shipp - 4d [CD New] USD $16.93 Buy It Now 9 days
NEW! 7 CD  COLLECTION VOLUMES 1 - 7 The Art of  IVO PERELMAN - MATTHEW SHIPP NEW! 7 CD COLLECTION VOLUMES 1 - 7 The Art of IVO PERELMAN - MATTHEW SHIPP USD $99.99 Buy It Now 9 days
PERELMAN, IVO / MATTHEW SHIPP-Complementary Colors  CD NEW PERELMAN, IVO / MATTHEW SHIPP-Complementary Colors CD NEW USD $18.39 Buy It Now 10 days
Matthew Shipp, Matthew Quartet Shipp - Pastoral Composure [New CD] Matthew Shipp, Matthew Quartet Shipp - Pastoral Composure [New CD] USD $16.77 Buy It Now 10 days
Matthew Shipp - Art Of The Improviser (CD Used Like New) Matthew Shipp - Art Of The Improviser (CD Used Like New) USD $16.07 Buy It Now 11 days
MATTHEW SHIPP QUARTET - Pastorale Composure - CD - **Mint Condition** MATTHEW SHIPP QUARTET - Pastorale Composure - CD - **Mint Condition** USD $14.95 Buy It Now 11 days
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MATTHEW SHIPP - Harmony & Abyss - CD - **Excellent Condition** MATTHEW SHIPP - Harmony & Abyss - CD - **Excellent Condition** USD $13.49 Buy It Now 11 days
MATTHEW SHIPP - 4d - CD MATTHEW SHIPP - 4d - CD USD $14.76 Buy It Now 11 days
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Matthew Shipp - Declared Enemy: Salute to 100001 Stars [New CD] Spain - Import Matthew Shipp - Declared Enemy: Salute to 100001 Stars [New CD] Spain - Import USD $16.14 Buy It Now 11 days
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IVO PERELMAN/MATTHEW SHIPP - THE EDGE NEW CD IVO PERELMAN/MATTHEW SHIPP - THE EDGE NEW CD USD $18.38 Buy It Now 11 days
GERALD CLEAVER/IVO PERELMAN/MATTHEW SHIPP/WHIT DICKEY - ENIGMA NEW CD GERALD CLEAVER/IVO PERELMAN/MATTHEW SHIPP/WHIT DICKEY - ENIGMA NEW CD USD $18.38 Buy It Now 11 days
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MATTHEW SHIPP Discography

MATTHEW SHIPP albums / top albums

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Sonic Explorations (with Rob Brown)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1988
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Points
Avant-Garde Jazz 1992
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Circular Temple
Avant-Garde Jazz 1992
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Matthew Shipp & William Parker: Zo
Avant-Garde Jazz 1994
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Symbol Systems
Avant-Garde Jazz 1995
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Critical Mass
Avant-Garde Jazz 1995
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2-Z (with Roscoe Mitchell)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1996
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By the Law of Music
Avant-Garde Jazz 1997
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The Flow Of X
Avant-Garde Jazz 1997
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Matthew Shipp Duo With Joe Morris ‎: Thesis
Avant-Garde Jazz 1997
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Strata
Avant-Garde Jazz 1998
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Multiplication Table
Avant-Garde Jazz 1998
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Magnetism
Avant-Garde Jazz 1999
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Matthew Shipp & William Parker: DNA
Avant-Garde Jazz 1999
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Pastoral Composure
Avant-Garde Jazz 2000
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Matthew Shipp Duo with Mat Maneri : Gravitational Systems
Avant-Garde Jazz 2000
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Matthew Shipp String Trio : Expansion, Power, Release
Avant-Garde Jazz 2001
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
New Orbit
Avant-Garde Jazz 2001
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Songs
Avant-Garde Jazz 2002
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Nu Bop
Avant-Garde Jazz 2002
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Equilibrium
Avant-Garde Jazz 2003
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The Fight of the Century: Anti-Pop Consortium vs. Matthew Shipp
(Post-70s) Eclectic Fusion 2003
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Harmony And Abyss
Avant-Garde Jazz 2004
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Trio Plays Ware
Avant-Garde Jazz 2004
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
One
Avant-Garde Jazz 2005
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Piano Vortex
Avant-Garde Jazz 2006
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Cosmic Suite
Avant-Garde Jazz 2008
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Un Piano
Avant-Garde Jazz 2008
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
J Spaceman and Matthew Shipp : SpaceShipp
Jazz Related Improv/Composition 2008
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Harmonic Disorder
Avant-Garde Jazz 2009
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Matthew Shipp & Sabir Mateen: SAMA
Avant-Garde Jazz 2010
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
4D
Avant-Garde Jazz 2010
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Knives from Heaven
Avant-Garde Jazz 2011
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Matthew Shipp, Joe Morris ‎: Broken Partials
Avant-Garde Jazz 2011
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Elastic Aspects
Avant-Garde Jazz 2012
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Piano Sutras
Avant-Garde Jazz 2013
.. Album Cover 3.98 | 2 ratings
Root Of Things
Avant-Garde Jazz 2014
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
I've Been To Many Places
Avant-Garde Jazz 2014
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
To Duke
Avant-Garde Jazz 2015
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Matthew Shipp Chamber Ensemble : The Gospel According To Matthew And Michael
Avant-Garde Jazz 2015
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Our Lady Of The Flowers
Avant-Garde Jazz 2015
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Matthew Shipp Trio: The Conduct of Jazz
Avant-Garde Jazz 2015
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Matthew Shipp Trio : Piano Song
Avant-Garde Jazz 2017
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Matthew Shipp Quartet : Not Bound
Avant-Garde Jazz 2017

MATTHEW SHIPP EPs & splits

MATTHEW SHIPP live albums

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Prism
Avant-Garde Jazz 1996
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Before The World
Avant-Garde Jazz 1997
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Telephone Popcorn
Avant-Garde Jazz 2008
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Nu Bop Live
Avant-Garde Jazz 2009
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Creation Out of Nothing (Live in Moscow)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2010
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Art of the Improviser
Avant-Garde Jazz 2011
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
SaMa: Live in Moscow
Avant-Garde Jazz 2011
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Matthew Shipp & Mat Walerian Duo The Uppercut: Live At Okuden
Avant-Garde Jazz 2015
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Matthew Shipp/Michael Bisio : Live In Seattle
Avant-Garde Jazz 2016
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Invisible Touch at Taktlos Zurich
Avant-Garde Jazz 2017
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Magnetism(s)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2017

MATTHEW SHIPP demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

MATTHEW SHIPP re-issues & compilations

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Duos With Mat Maneri & Joe Morris
Avant-Garde Jazz 2011
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Blue Series: Greatest Hits
Avant-Garde Jazz 2013

MATTHEW SHIPP singles (0)

MATTHEW SHIPP movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Solos: The Jazz Sessions
Avant-Garde Jazz 2010

MATTHEW SHIPP Reviews

MATTHEW SHIPP Invisible Touch at Taktlos Zurich

Live album · 2017 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
With such an abundance of talented jazz pianists these days, its hard for anyone to rise above the pack, but more than likely, as we move forward in time, music history will be very kind to Matthew Shipp. A powerhouse performer, Shipp’s improvisations embrace the world of modern jazz and hint at contemporary concert hall composition, while wrapping all this up into a musical language that sounds like no one else. Although Matthew is known to engage in spirited free improvisations with many stars of the free improv world, when playing on his own, his music takes on a different character, not so much free improvisation as spontaneous composition. Much like one of his favorite influences, Cecil Taylor, Shipp’s constructs pour out at a furious pace, yet always seem to contain a sort of logic found in the best of contemporary composers. It’s in his solo works that the true mind of Shipp is able to take shape, and that is one of the many things that make “Invisible Touch at Taktlos Zurich” such a special offering, this is Matthew all by himself in a live setting, a pure un-distilled outpouring from a modern genius.

In his own words, Shipp claims that while he was developing his musical language, he decided to ignore the popular post-bop trio of Bill Evans, Keith Jarret and Herbie Hancock, and instead focused on an older musical language of the bop and pre-bop pianists such as Thelonius Monk, Duke Ellington and Art Tatum. Herein lies one of Matthew’s big differences within the modern jazz world, his playing harks back to an earlier age when the solo pianist was meant to be a mini-orchestra with a huge two handed sound that filled up space. This is not the ‘less is more’ approach of the post bop crowd, this is the ‘more is more’, and plenty more where that came from approach. As we listen to the eleven cuts on this CD, our mind becomes occupied by musical ideas that fly by at a rapid rate, yet these ideas never lose a sense of purpose, every note that is needed is there. Along with the aforementioned jazz influences, one can also hear 20th century composers such as Charles Ives, Arnold Schoenberg and Henry Cowell, but this is no pastiche approach, every influence is blended into a seamless whole.

This is an unusual concert in that Matthew does not take a break between songs, which can be a plus or a minus. The plus being that this whole concert becomes like an ocean of musical ideas to immerse yourself in, with the minus being that some of the individual songs loose their individuality as they become swamped by the entire mass of music. Two tracks in particular might have been more powerful had they stood on their own, one being the imaginative reading of the standard, “Tenderly”, in which the original melody battles with a more dissonant counter melody, and the almost romantic “Blue in Orion’, which is quite different from the other tracks. Still, with all the tracks blended, we can see how some similar devices show up in more than one piece, such as Matthew’s thunderous low end tone clusters, and his skittering two voiced scattered polyphony.

For those who have not checked him out yet, this album makes for a great introduction to the world of Matthew Shipp and comes highly recommended for fans of modern jazz, as well as fans of modern concert hall music as well.

MATTHEW SHIPP Matthew Shipp Trio: The Conduct of Jazz

Album · 2015 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
Possibly one of the most prolific producers of new CDs in the world of jazz, Matthew Shipp seems to be coming up with almost three or more albums every year. With such an abundant flow of output, one is tempted to question the quality of Shipp’s work, but if “The Conduct of Jazz” is any indicator, Matthew continues to hold high standards for each and every new CD he puts out. “The Conduct of Jazz”, like much of Shipp’s music, falls roughly into an area we can call ‘avant-garde jazz’, but this music really does not sound much like any one else who might fall under the same genre umbrella. Instead, Shipp and his trio continue to make music that exists in a world all its own.

There is so much variety on here, each track opens a door to a unique musical universe. After the opening procession of “Insensitive Touch”, the CD’s title track follows with some obvious references to Monk’s music, but mixed up with Shipp’s trio’s ability to play in different, but related tempos at the same time. The following two cuts are almost more like concert hall pieces, but not in any formal way, but more in the fact that we are far from be-bop here, or anything that most people would call ‘avant-garde jazz’ for that matter. Both of these tracks display constructions that suggest structure mixed with improv.

On track five, “Stream of Light”, Shipp plays something that you could almost call jazz-rock, his piano pounding on this one might have something in common with some recent work by Robert Glasper. Track six is a real treat as Shipp plays piano alone and produces a lush, almost romantic ballad that sounds like Art Tatum run through a blender. Album closer, “The Bridge Across”, is familiar territory for most fans of ‘free jazz’, if there is such a thing as “traditional” avant-garde jazz, this would be it.

“The Conduct of Jazz” is yet one more outstanding album for Matthew Shipp this year, and is highly recommended for his fans, or the curious wanting to check out his music for the first time. Its also recommended for those who want to hear modern innovative music that sounds like no one else.

MATTHEW SHIPP To Duke

Album · 2015 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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It seems the inevitable Duke Ellington tribute album has become a rite of passage for major jazz performers, so it comes as no big surprise that one of today’s top musicians, Matthew Shipp, has taken on the formidable task of re-interpreting the works of the master on Shipp’s new CD, “To Duke”. Shipp is a fairly diverse and unpredictable artist, so there was no telling which way he was going to take Duke’s music. Would he go totally avant-garde on the pieces, or would he stay somewhat within Duke’s musical language? The answer to both questions is yes as Shipp treats some of the songs to free wheeling de-construction and radical re-make, while others sound fairly close to the original. It’s this varied approach that makes “To Duke” a total success as both a tribute to Duke, as well as an expansion of his music.

The first thing that might hit you about this CD is the song choices. Common knowledge would expect Shipp to pick out interesting obscurities and some of Duke’s more harmonically complex pieces, but instead, Shipp picked the most common and over played songs in the Duke songbook. “Satin Doll”, “Take the A Train”, “Mood Indigo” etc, it reads like one more budget label “The Best of the Duke’s Greatest Hits” type albums. Is this Matthew’s sense of humor at work? Maybe, but possibly they just happen to be his favorites songs to play, or possibly those song’s familiarity made them a bigger challenge to re-interpret. If that is the case, then Shipp and his band-mates meet the challenge with unpredictable approaches and unbridled creativity.

The most radical re-makes take place on “Satin Doll” and “A Train”, as the band takes some of the basic riffs to launch furious assaults that can be very intense at times, and funny as hell other times. Shipp is one of the few performers in today’s jazz world who realizes that much of the great jazz in the past always had a sly wit. Elsewhere on this CD, “Mood Indigo” and “Prelude to a Kiss” stay close to the originals as Shipp expands on their lush harmonies. There are also a couple Shipp originals, with “Sparks” being an excellent high energy avant-bop number.

The person who might have appreciated these pieces the most is, of course, no longer with us. Duke did not care to have his music become museum pieces. His band rarely played songs the same way twice, and re-recordings of songs always featured new arrangements. He also did not like any attempt to write down a definitive arrangement of any of his pieces. Duke preferred that his music continue to grow and change, much like it does on "To Duke".

MATTHEW SHIPP Root Of Things

Album · 2014 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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The most difficult artists to write about are those whose artistic vision is so unique and personal that it is hard to come up with comparisons and references, and such is the case with pianist Matthew Shipp and his latest trio outing, “Root of Things”. Early in his career Shipp displayed much influence from the high speed jagged and aggressive piano assaults of Cecil Taylor, and you can still hear some of the Taylor influence, but Shipp has distilled and reduced the Taylor approach, taking out much of the extravagance and leaving a more refined core. Is Shipp’s playing a ‘lounge’ version of Cecil Taylor’s pyrotechnics, that would be an odd way of putting things, but it could almost suffice as a layman’s description, but its also a bit shallow because Shipp is much more than just that. If Matthew has a possible reference in today’s world of pianists, Craig Taborn might be as good as any. Both Shipp and Taborn are drawn to thick busy contrapuntal textures that owe much to serial composers, and both favor a tonality that deceptively slips from extended harmonies to atonality and in-between areas that are not clearly one or the other. Apologies are due if this all sounds too technical, but Shipp’s music is not exactly easy listening.

On this CD you get two tracks with busy, but introspective piano work; “Root of Things” and “Code J”, while “Path” centers around bassist Michael Bisio, and “Pulse Code” is for drummer Whit Dickey. The more energetic work-out tracks are “Jazz It” and album closer “Solid Circuit”. “Jazz It” is probably the CD’s top cut. As the title implies, this is the ‘jazz number’ and the only cut that ‘swings’. It opens with a bluesy Monk like groove, but as Shipp goes into quadruple time while soloing, the rhythm section feels compelled to follow and keeps slipping into chaotic high speed romps. Overall, “Jazz It” has more humor and good times slap bang chaos than most of the rest of this CD, which often sounds more like concert hall music than post bop. Dickey’s solo on “Pulse Code” is nice because he goes more for interesting layered poly-rhythms ala Billy Higgins, rather than boring displays of flash. Closing number “Solid Circuit” is probably closest to the old days of free jazz blowouts, but even on this one, the trio shows much care and restraint in their interactions.

This is one of the better jazz CDs to come out so far this year and it should hold up well to many close listens for modern post bop fans, avant-garde listeners and even concert hall devotees who like the jazz as well. If every cut on here would have been as strong and imaginitive as “Jazz It”, this would have been close to album of the year.

MATTHEW SHIPP Piano Sutras

Album · 2013 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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In a world over laden with talented jazz pianists, Matthew Shipp is able to stand out, not just for his technique, but more for his unique musical vision that combines the history of avant-garde jazz piano with modern abstract post bop and 20th-21st century concert hall music. “Piano Sutras”, released in 2013, makes for a great introduction to Shipp and the variety of styles he can employ. Although the jazz elements are here, much of this album sounds like a modern concert hall recital, which is no big surprise given the extant to which jazz has influenced the typical modern composer. In fact, it would not be surprising if someone thought this was a recital featuring a sampling of modern composers as each of these pieces seems to have its own distinct personality.

Album opener and title track, “Piano Sutras”, kicks things off in concert hall mode, sounding at times like a modernized version of Scriabin. Follow up track, “Cosmic Shuffle”, gets us back on a jazz joint as Shipp visit’s the early days of stride and boogie and runs them through the abstract de-constructionist blender. Later track, “Blues to a Point”, also uses older jazz styles, reworked for the new century. Its not uncommon for reviewers to compare Shipp to Cecil Taylor, and the similarities do exist, but the difference being that Shipp’s approach to Taylor’s jagged expressionism is more subdued and refined as would fit today’s jazz sound. “Uncreated Light” is one track that carries the Taylor mark with its heavy noisy low end rumbles and harsh blues based riffs.

There are two well-known standards on here. “Giant Steps’ is given a brief spin with Shipp just letting the chords float on their own without too much embellishment, possibly a nice contrast to those who always try to cram as many notes onto “Giant Steps” as they can. “Nefertiti” is the other familiar number, which Shipp plays with considerable low end murkiness, possibly in contrast to other’s overly pretty versions of the same tune. Both songs are used more for their harmonic colors, rather than an excuse to solo.

This is an excellent CD, especially if you enjoy that esoteric place where modern jazz meets modern classical music. You can listen to “Piano Sutras” many times and still always hear something new. This is music that rewards close listening.

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