Matthew Shipp's New Orbit (Thirsty Ear)
by Paula Edelstein
As one of the most daring and original pianists in jazz, Matt Shipp continues to cover a wide spectrum of musical concepts and methods as artistic director of the Blue Series for Thirsty Ear Recordings.
From avant-garde atonal textures to classical music textures and reams of cosmic consciousness and free expressionism, Shipp has been positioned in a lineage between Thelonious Monk and Cecil Taylor.
As the fourth release in Thirsty Ear Recording's Blue Series, New Orbit finds Matthew Shipp at peace with himself in his attempt to unite the many experiences he has had as an Afro-American composer and the "various strands of the modern music world that are relevant to him."
Shipp is joined on New Orbit by a great ensemble that includes Wadada Leo Smith on trumpet, bassist extraordinaire William Parker, and the dynamic Gerald Cleaver on drums.
Shipp retains his distinctive sonics and musical lexicons on such songs as "Paradox X" and "U Feature" but raises the bar on the previous series’ releases with the inclusion of a four-part suite consisting of the title track, "Orbit 2," "Orbit 3," and "Orbit 4." By virtue of Shipp’s creative powers, the suite strips away conventional interpretations and immerses the talents of his ensemble in new imagining and jazz abstracts. New Orbit is an excellent delivery of avant-garde and free jazz that remains uncompromising, unrelenting, and totally individual.
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