Mathew Shipp Duo with William Parker — DNA
(Thirsty Ear this57067.2, 1999, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 1999-11-01Mathew Shipp has paid his dues in the eastern US jazz circles for the past several years and DNA is his first for Thirsty Ear Records out of New York. Two traditional pieces are included on the disc in addition to five of Shipp's compositions embellished by Parker's upright bass lines. Both of those pieces are spirituals interspersed with songs which reflect a subject matter of the dichotomy between the religious and scientific impulse. Shipp himself appears to be a "spurious" composer - a believer in dissonant interjection, but with less spasmodic emphasis than Keith Tippett or Keith Jarrett. The dialogue between pulse and dynamic is the key in which to exact a crucial interaction if the players are up to the task. How listenable is it then to live in the moment of live spontaneous combustion? I would say it's both revealing and an exercise in the discipline of listening. Rhythmically the interchange between these two musicians is stark and perpetually shifting. "Orbit" is probably the most successful track since Shipp keeps emphasis on the rhythmic chorusing he's establishing with Parker punctuating the bottom line. The opening track, "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" is propelled by Shipp's restatement of the main theme amidst a controlled, if somewhat frantic bass solo. Seven minutes into "Mr. Chromosome" a simple repeating melody is invoked to signal a time to change to a cross sectional improvisation which finishes with an almost calypso like figure and sad resolution. "Amazing Grace" comes as a proud closing statement to the disc, bookmarking the album so to speak. Overall DNA is a successful new excursion for Shipp and Parker and definitely a must see performance in your local jazz club.
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more