Friday, September 12, 2014

Matthew Shipp and Darius Jones - Cosmic Lieder: The Darkseid Recital (AUM Fidelity, 2014)

Pianist Matthew Shipp and alto saxophonist Darius Jones make for a fine match, beginning on their earlier studio meeting Cosmic Lieder and building upon it with this sequel Cosmic Lieder: The Darkseid Recital. Both musicians have a distinct musical personality: Matthew Shipp makes use of the entire keyboard throwing hooks and jabs like the boxers he admires, while Darius Jones has a jagged and taut sensibility that can go from a whisper to a scream at a moments notice. They trust each other completely and that allows the music to flow at an organic pace. The dynamism that they are able to conjure is the key to the improvisation "2,327,694,748" where they circle each other building a dark sense of unease before letting loose with a torrid flow of musical information. Shipp manhandles the keyboard in a muscular and physical manner while Jones sends bolts of rough and sharp points to complement the excitement. The music really is exciting, too - while there are moments of darkness there are also shafts of like akin to the spiritual searching of John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders on tracks like "Lord of Woe" where they may be worrying sections or phrases of music looking for a foothold in the wide open space and then suddenly everything clicks and their propensity for freedom (musical and personal) envelops the music and drives it skyward. This is dramatic and compelling music made by two of the most compelling members of the current improvised music scene. Both live and in the studio they create music that uses melody and freedom to create admirable and inspiring music. Cosmic Lieder: The Darkseid Recital - amazon.com

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