Thursday, July 16, 2015
July Short Takes - Trio Version
Earlier in 2015, the Matthew Shipp Trio issued "To Duke" (Rogue Art), a collection of 11 tracks, 6 of which were composed by Edward Kennedy Ellington by himself and in collaboration with Billy Strayhorn or Barney Bigard. Shipp composed the remaining 5 tracks. Overall, the recording may remind some listeners of the 1962 Ellington - Max Roach - Charles Mingus recording "Money Jungle" in that the high-powered rhythm section really pushes the pianists to higher levels of intensity. In the case of Shipp, he has no problem being pushed or pushing back. His composition "Sparks" is high-energy all the way as is the raucous reading of "Take The A Train", a piece that, at times, sounds like trains moving out of Grand Central Station. The powerful give-and-take of the rhythm section drives "Satin Doll", pushing Shipp to deconstruct the melody and build his solo off the rhythm (there are several moments in the piano solo where the band locks into a groove that resembles Terry Riley's "In C"). "Mood Indigo" starts slowly, the recognizable melody rising over the elemental brush work of Dickey and the counterpoint of Bisio. The pianist caresses the melody and one can hear the influence of James P Johnson on the composers (Ellington and Bigard). Another Ellington piece from the early 1930s, "Solitude", is deconstructed by the Trio but Shipp never loses sight of the melody. Pay attention to Bisio's bass lines; his "free" association creates a tension that is never really released.
For more information, go to www.matthewshipp.com.
"Falling Up" features a rousing tenor sax melody reminiscent of Sam Rivers and Anthony Braxton's work with Dave Holland and Barry Altschul on the bassist's brilliant "Conference of the Birds".The push-pull of the bass and drums with the tenor is delightful and rousing. Later in the program, "Six Days, 5 Nights", a lovely ballad featuring Bishop on flute makes another connection with Sam Rivers as well as with Henry Threadgill in Air. Aficionados of the music of Messrs. Rivers and Threadgill will enjoy the conversational quality of "Now What?" and be mesmerized by the funky backbeat plus impressionistic soprano saxophone work on "There Are Many Monkeys."
"De Profundis" is thoughtful music that also has power and, if you can pardon the pun, depths worth exploring. Andrew Bishop, Gerald Cleaver, and Tim Flood work and play so well together, one is easily seduced by their performances. Freedom and foundation, inspiration and vision, you'll find all that and more in this excellent recording.
For more information, go to www.andrewbishop.net.
Enjoy this cut from the album: