13 Songs, 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Some argue that Matthew Shipp’s blend of visceral keyboard runs, rope-a-dope jabs of chords, and distinct sense of space are best displayed in a solo context. On Piano Sutras, his seventh solo effort, Shipp again shines. While the opening title track levitates as atonal shards of jazz, classical, and blues emerge from the narrative, “Cosmic Shuffle" is more swinging, with plenty of bottom-end rhythm to go along with the melodies. Usually one to toss a cover or two into his solo live sets, Shipp gives a positively elegant (if all-too-brief) reading of John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps,” while his version of Wayne Shorter’s “Nefertiti” sticks around a bit longer but is more exploratory. The album closes with the fiery “The Indivisible,” which leaves no doubt that the pianist was in a full sweat by the end of the track—and listeners won’t be far behind. This is a fine effort that only burnishes Shipp’s reputation as one of today’s most challenging and rewarding jazz masters.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Some argue that Matthew Shipp’s blend of visceral keyboard runs, rope-a-dope jabs of chords, and distinct sense of space are best displayed in a solo context. On Piano Sutras, his seventh solo effort, Shipp again shines. While the opening title track levitates as atonal shards of jazz, classical, and blues emerge from the narrative, “Cosmic Shuffle" is more swinging, with plenty of bottom-end rhythm to go along with the melodies. Usually one to toss a cover or two into his solo live sets, Shipp gives a positively elegant (if all-too-brief) reading of John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps,” while his version of Wayne Shorter’s “Nefertiti” sticks around a bit longer but is more exploratory. The album closes with the fiery “The Indivisible,” which leaves no doubt that the pianist was in a full sweat by the end of the track—and listeners won’t be far behind. This is a fine effort that only burnishes Shipp’s reputation as one of today’s most challenging and rewarding jazz masters.

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