Showing posts from January, 2013

Matthew Shipp: Greatest Hits, Thirsty Ear, 2013

The work of every great artist warrants a retrospective  now and again. It is time for pianist Matthew Shipp to be given one; it is called Matthew Shipp: Greatest Hits. The recording is a well-designed shuffle of twelve years of recording; each piece has been carefully chosen and juxtaposed one to another, without adhering to chronological order.
Shipp’s character blends rumbling rambunctiousness with sheer stamina, pure grace and a shy respectfulness. There is not one cut on this record which can be dismissed as an aspect of the development of Shipp’s own canonical language.  Through two years before and including the decade between ages forty and fifty, his musical language changed markedly.  At first, heavy and irrevocably repetitive, his fingering opens up and he leaves behind his reliance on dark, resonant base chords and, in a breathless, gorgeous grasp of rhythmic vicissitudes, bursts into discovering the effusive breadth of the line he can follow without ever having to draw i…

David S. Ware