Matthew Shipp
The Sorcerer Sessions

Between new releases and reissues on both major and independent labels, keeping up with the plethora of new jazz that is being constantly released is a seemingly impossible task.

Still, I keep my CD players humming, trying to maintain some semblance of being on top of things.

- The piano has a rich legacy in the jazz genre, and while numerous players have been touted as 'keepers of the flame,' every once in a while an artist emerges who not only lives up to, but surpasses the hype. Matthew Shipp is just such an artist.

On his most recent release, 'Sorcerer,' on Thirsty Ear, Shipp continues to combine tradition with a decidedly forward-looking bent, continuing to nudge himself as well as the parameters of jazz.

Soothing and serene at times and deliciously dissonant at other times, Shipp wraps jazz past, present and future into a musical mélange that evokes and provokes.

Challenging listeners with an array of soundscapes, Shipp's compositions and a strong group aesthetic are at the heart of a masterpiece that blurs distinctions within the genre.

This is essential listening that you'll want to savor again and again.

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