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Thursday, 20 March 2014 10:20

Charting the Music: Matthew Shipp Trio, 'Root of Things'

Charting the Music: Matthew Shipp Trio, 'Root of Things' facebook.com/ArtoftheImproviser
Written by Travis Dettmann
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Matthew Shipp Trio's "Root of Things" reveals the beauty and the hideousness of the world around us via six free-form compositions.

"Root of Things" signifies the triumphant return of the Matthew Shipp Trio since their masterpiece "Elastic Aspects" in 2012.

88.1 KDHX chart position: #1 Jazz for the week of March 11, 2014.

Record label, release date and producer: Relative Pitch Records will release "Root of Things" on March 18, 2014; it was produced by Mike Panico and executive produced by Kevin Reilly.

Can be heard on: All Soul, No Borders with Josh Weinstein.

RIYL: David S. Ware, William Parker and Sonore.

Hometown: Wilmington, Del.

Standout tracks: "Pulse Code" is for all the percussive beat makers out there. The whirlwind of snare, toms, bass and cymbals will get you lost in a manic state before being violently shoved into a chaotic nightmare. Shipp gracefully cracks his knuckles and digs into "Solid Circuit." This solo only intensifies when bass and drums join in for an all out musical brawl.

The artist: The ebony and ivory keys have graced Shipp's fingers since the young age of five. He moved to New York in his mid 20s and immediately began turning heads in the jazz scene. David S. Ware, Rob Brown, Roscoe Mitchell and William Parker are just a few of the names Shipp has recorded and/or shared the stage with over the years. "Root of Things" calls upon bassist Michael Bisio and Whit Dickey on skins to complete the trio.

This label: Relative Pitch Records is an independent label out of New York City that focuses on quality compositions, releasing only a handful of albums each year. Kevin Reilly and Mike Panico established this venture in 2011, mainly focusing on forms of avant-garde, improv and free jazz. Efforts by Aych, Vinnie Golia and Estamos Trio also carry the Relative Pitch imprint.

Play it while: Obsessing over mathematical equations.

What the critics say: "There are a lot of new phrases, expressions, accents that reveal Shipp's maturation process over the course of his 20+ years as a deep embracer of new musical sayings inherent in the free jazz/avant-garde dialects. Overall, the master gets to the 'Root of Things' both as an improviser and as a pianist and reveals that he is reenergized but more importantly that he has grown his art into a proud expression of free jazz." Sounds of Timeless Jazz.

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