Saturday, March 04, 2006

Matthew Shipp - One (Thirsty Ear, 2006)

Matthew Shipp's latest album for Thirsty Ear takes a break from his 'jazztronica' experiments of the past few years for a brief solo piano recital. The performances here are quite short and to the point, never exceeding five minutes in length, and the album itself is quite economical, clocking in at an LP length 40 minutes. What this album may lack in exploration, it more than makes up for in sharp, pointed performances that never meander or waver in conviction. Shipp makes ample use of the lower end of the piano, bringing great slabs of rumbling bass on "Electro Magnetism." There is also some very delicate playing - not ornamental, but elegant and probing, and many of the songs on the album have a haiku-like brevity.

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