Matthew Shipp – The Art of the Improviser
I’ve tried several times over the last week or so to get this review done, but I just can’t seem to get it. It’s not the album, the music here is incredible, very beautifully performed classic jazz. But I think its jazz itself that’s making this difficult. Jazz is such a powerful form of music and I find it somewhat intimidating to review. I don’t know much about the intricacies of the music, but I do know what I like and I really like “The Art of the Improviser.”
This release has two discs. The first is as a trio with Michael Bisio (bass) and Whit Dickey (drums). The second is a solo disc. Shipp’s style is a direct descendent of two of the greatest jazz pianists, Thelonious Monk and Cecil Taylor. He rides the line between Monk’s bop and Taylor’s free verse and covers both styles and everything in-between here. Jazz is a very emotional type of music and the best jazz affects the listener in undeniable ways. This is one of those records, upon my very first listen, I knew I was on to something special.
Well, that’s about as technical a review as I can do here, but I will say that with this release, Shipp has cemented himself a solid place in modern jazz and as we talk of Monk today, future generations of jazz fans will reference Shipp.