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Matthew Shipp - I've Been To Many Places (2014)

2-12-2014, 20:05
Music | Jazz

Matthew Shipp - I've Been To Many Places (2014)

Artist: Matthew Shipp
Title Of Album: I've Been To Many Places
Year Of Release: 2014
Genre: Jazz: Piano, Modern Jazz
Label: Thirsty Ear Recordings
Format: MP3
Quality: 320 kbps, 44.1 Khz
Total Time: 58:44
Total Size: 138 Mb
Covers: Front

01. I've Been To Many Places (5:21)
02. Summertime (4:32)
03. Brain Stem Grammer (3:58)
04. Pre Formal (1:57)
05. Web Play (3:31)
06. Tenderly (2:56)
07. Life Cycle (4:23)
08. Brain Shatter (3:48)
09. Symbolic Access (3:51)
10. Waltz (2:00)
11. Reflex (3:15)
12. Naima (4:18)
13. Where Is The Love (1:26)
14. Light Years (3:13)
15. Where Is The Love (Reprise) (2:28)
16. Blue Astral Bodies (3:37)
17. Cosmic Wave (4:03)

But is it Jazz? That question gets lobbed at pianist Matthew Shipp's music all the time. Perhaps, "propelled" or "launched" are better terms. His approach to music, whether working with saxophonists David S. Ware and Ivo Perelman or with DJs, is to play authentic music, that which is a bona fide representation of his nature, or better yet his soul. This solo offering, I've Been To Many Places delves deep into that spirit and does (depending on where you stand) nothing, or everything to resolve the question, "is it jazz?"

Shipp is (has been) a lightning rod for neocon reaction to his music. Maybe it's their defining jazz music by a certain set a parameters that actually limits the creativity. Same criticisms were once tossed at Thelonious Monk, Cecil Taylor, and Keith Jarrett. Shipp's music is original, intriguing, and always outré. He reveals his genetic code with original music and covers of John Coltrane's "Naima" and George Gershwin's "Summertime," plus the pop tunes "Where Is The Love" (from the 1970s) and "Tenderly" (1946). Heard here, the pianist reconfigures sound like writer Colson Whitehead reimagines the zombie apocalypse.

In a solitary setting, Shipp lays out the architectonics of his music and the standards are a guide. "Summertime" opens with the familiar, before flowering into a thunderous open- ended expedition. Same for "Naima," which is reimagined as Béla Bartók might have. Shipp lays these out as guides so that when he conjures his original pieces like "Symbolic Access" and "Reflex," the language doesn't change, just the listener's familiarity with the composition. He plays "Waltz" like Bill Evans' "Waltz For Debby" as comfort food for the ears, a familiar road that also leads into his personal forest. The careful mix of recognizable with the original can draw the new listener in, like his soulful take on Roberta Flack's hit "Where Is The Love." But it's the unique pieces that bring everything into perspective. The pianist's piano language is pioneering, unconventional, and well, isn't that a working definition of jazz? ~Mark Corroto

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