AMN Reviews: Two From Matthew Shipp

Matthew Shipp Trio – World Construct (2022; ESP-Disk’)

Pianist Matthew Shipp begins World Construct by going outside and ratcheting up the tension. This treatment is almost classical in nature with thick chords and percussive structures. He is joined on this album by Michael Bisio on bass and Newman Taylor Baker on drums, the former offering up dense passages of his own and the latter providing busy snare-work to counterpart Shipp’s pounding. Indeed, Shipp frequently takes the role of rhythm section while Bisio and Baker improvise leads in conjunction. At least the fourth album featuring this trio, Shipp, Bisio, and Baker have had plenty of opportunities to gel as a unit. This might explain the breadth of the sounds herein as the intensity of the opening pieces evolve into mid-album avant-jazz and then more introspective approaches. Throughout, Shipp and company weave a tangled web of notes and angular arrangements that are sure to please listeners who appreciate the unconventional. World Construct will be released on June 17 by ESP-Disk’.

Matthew Shipp – Codebreaker (2021; TAO Forms)

Intentional or not, Shipp invokes the complex mathematics of cryptography on this latest solo outing. Indeed, breaking Shipp’s own code is not an easy task given how he can play in jazz, blues, classical, and free improv styles, and often mixes these styles within tracks. As such, he gracefully moves between mind-bending intricacy and more atmospheric, gentle approaches. While all tracks are densely packed with ideas, some are looser and more playful than others. Case in point, Green Man exhibits unusual phrasing in addition to its jagged chording and non-repeating melodies before it ends with staccato pounding. Other tracks, such as Codebreaker and Disc show off the softer side of Shipp – not exactly late-night jazz but in that ballpark.

One thought on “AMN Reviews: Two From Matthew Shipp

Comments are closed.