Saturday, March 21, 2015

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
The provocative piano of Matthew Shipp

This week, let's take a look at some videos featuring pianist Matthew Shipp, who's coming to St. Louis for a duo concert with bassist Michael Bisio that will be presented by New Music Circle next Saturday, March 28 at The Stage at KDHX.

Shipp, who played here most recently in 2011 at 560 Music Center, emerged in the 1990s as one of the most provocative pianists of his generation, capable of both pointillist, jagged-sounding improvisations and lush, classically influenced romanticism.

He first received wide attention as a member of saxophonist David S. Ware's long-running quartet, and since has gone on to record dozens of albums as a soloist and bandleader in his own right, as well as in collaborative projects with musicians including saxophonists Darius Jones and Ivo Perelman and multi-instrumentalist Joe Morris.

Shipp also has gained a reputation for unusual candor, giving interviews and penning essays that express skepticism and challenge conventional views about subjects ranging from the relevance of the jazz tradition to the current state of the music business.

However, as entertaining and occasionally controversial as those critical and cultural musings may be, for an improvising musician like Shipp, the important stuff is what happens in the moment, on the bandstand. And so, here are a half-dozen videos offering glimpses of some of what he's been up to since his last visit to St. Louis.

First up, you can see Shipp's trio, with Bisio and drummer Whit Dickey, playing the title track from their 2014 album Root of Things in March 2014 at the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, NY.

After the jump, there's a full solo set by Shipp, recorded as part of the 2014 Chicago Jazz Festival's "PianoForte Sessions."

That's followed by excerpts from a couple more trio shows, for Vision Festival 19 in June 2014 at Roulette in Brooklyn, and in June 2013 at Constellation in Chicago.

The fifth video is another complete set, featuring Shipp and saxophonist Evan Parker in June 2013 at La Dynamo in Toulouse, France, followed by yet another excerpt from a trio gig, in November 2012 in Budapest.

For more about Matthew Shipp, check out these recent interviews with the UK newspaper the Guardian and the websites Jazz Right Now, Flowers In A Gun, and Wondering Sound.

You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

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