Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Core Trio with Matthew Shipp (self produced, 2014)

If there were matches made in free jazz heaven, The Core and Matthew Shipp would certainly fit the bill. The musicians are Seth Paynter on saxophone, Joe Hertenstein on drums, Thomas Helton on bass with special guest Matthew Shipp on piano. But the key is that Shipp doesn't seem like a guest at all, he sounds fully integrated, like he was with the band from the beginning. The music reaches out for you from the get-go. It's one forty minute plus unnamed improvisation. Shipp's piano is deep and rich, taking the group into an urgent fast section to start. They are on a high wire over the abyss but never falter, moving through sections of bowed bass where large raindrops of piano notes and chords fall around. There is a thrilling section of music where Matthew Shipp is hammering down frightening yet thrilling massive jolts of piano as if he were some god of legend hurling thunderbolts at an unwitting populace. The clashes and contrasts of musical color keep the music continuously exciting and propel it forward. They break the music down and then reconstruct it, challenging themselves and the listener. Toward the end there is a section of bowed bass with probing saxophone, and then Shipp reenters with some lithe piano that even makes the music swing - truly they are covering all bases. Then the band moves to an excellent flourish to finish the album. This was a wonderful album, with each instrumentalist at the top of their game. The Core Trio with Matthew Shipp - bandcamp

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