Wednesday, March 14, 2012

"Elastic" Music Live + Impressive Canadian Trumpeter + E.I. Rants for a Good Reason

The Matthew Ship Trio - Shipp (piano), Whit Dickey (drums) and Michael Bisio (bass) - has a really fine new CD, "Elastic Aspects" (Thirsty Ear - my review is here.) Even better is that the Trio has been touring and will appear Saturday March 17 at 8 p.m. in Real Art Ways, 56 Arbor Street in Hartford.  One of the many joys of Shipp's Trio music is the interaction between the pianist and his rhythm section;  their "elasticity" gives the music its breadth and excitement. It's palpable on CD but all the more vibrant in person.  For ticket information, go to or call 860-232-1006.

Hartford Courant jazz master Owen McNally conducted an excellent interview with Mr. Shipp that was published on Sunday March 11 - read it by clicking here.  If there is one shortcoming in the interview, there is no mention of the Trio.  I tried to remedy that in my conversation with Matthew today but we soon moved on to other topics - listen to our chat by clicking below:

If you look up at "The Jazz Session" on the top right of this post (providing you're reading during the week of March 12-18), you'll see that episode #354 features Craig Pedersen.  Despite thinking that I have my finger on the pulse of the creative music scene, Mr. Pedersen was unknown to me.  Thanks to Jason Crane's interview and my subsequent visit to, I know that this is a person whose music is worth paying attention to.  If you follow the links to his site at (click here), you can listen to his new CD, "Days Like Today", and then, like me, purchase it (in either digital, CD or Deluxe CD format.)  His fine Quartet - Linsey Wellman (saxophone), Joel Kerr (acoustic bass) and Mike Essoudry (drums) - plays Pedersen's music with great gusto, creating sounds that remind this listener of the halcyon days of the 1970s when the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Julius Hemphill and Henry Threadgill first entered my consciousness.  In fact, the sonic feel of the opening track, "The Baron" (posted below as a free download), is very much like that of the late Mr. Hemphill's "Dogon A.D."  This is music that looks backward as it continually moves forward, the stuff that great creative music is made of.  Give a listen to the interview and the music.

There is a new Billy Hart CD on ECM Records. "All Our Reasons" features the master drummer with his Quartet composed of Mark Turner (tenor saxophone), Ben Street (bass) and Ethan Iverson (piano).  There are many people who believe that Manfred Eicher's label is too "cool" and "Nordic" (whatever that may mean) but the producer gives Mr. Hart and company free rein and, from what I have heard, this is no "tame" recording.  In his latest posting on, pianist Iverson rightly complains about the number of illegal "file shares" he has seen of the CD; "file shares" mean that fans get to download the music for free and neither the label nor the musicians see any money for their hard work.  Lord knows, this is rampant in many forms of entertainment (the movie industry also suffers greatly from piracy.) There have been many instances when doing research for a review, my "Google" search reveals multiple sites for free downloads right before or immediately after listing the artist's website or myspace page.  Read Mr. Iverson's comments at and spread the word that music piracy has got to be stopped before the musicians lose all incentive to create this music many of us love so much.


  1. Thanks as always for the link to The Jazz Session, Richard.

    For Richard's readers: Billy Hart will be on the show soon, too, talking about All Our Reasons. And Matthew Shipp has been on twice:



  2. we really wish u guys would get off the pedestal and realize whats going on, if you live in america your working for the biggest gangsters on the block, you wether you know it or not are part of a corrupt system, no ones to blame and everyone is if your worried about sharing files or downloading instead of the real challenges that face everyone out there you really have your priorities in order now don't you? the music will take care of itself regardless of what happens. pompous a##

    1. If "noone" would really like to discuss these and any issues, feel free to send an email. But, when you hide behind anonymity, your comments come off as snide and sophomoric. Most musicians, especially those who play creative music, jazz, BAM (whatever), don't get much from any system, never mind a corrupt one. I'm not as naive as when I was younger and thought music could change the world. But, I owned a business for 30+ years and was angered when anybody walked off with with one of the bottles on the shelf or bounced a check. So, imagine what it's like to see your "royalties" disappear when even a small percentage of your product is "stolen."