Matthew Shipp Trio - reviewed by Steve Dalachinsky

Matthew Shipp Trio Piano Vortex- Thirsty Ear Records THI 58180

The Blue Series

Matthew Shipp; piano, Joe Morris; Bass, Whit Dickey; drums

With this latest trio effort by Matthew Shipp we are lead deeper into his dark lyrical maelstrom. Slight touches of Tristano can be felt as Shipp caresses and brushes the keys in his usually offensive (as opposed to defensive) manner. As in the title piece, where he creates an inviting rather than threatening whirlwind, always on the attack, in his brutal love affair with his instrument. Here we are taken on short, sometimes bumpy rides, as with the Nichols-esque, off kilter rollercoastering of Key Swing.

In The  New Circumstance‚ we find the trio sharing the weight equally, with fine brush and cymbal work by long time associate Whit dickey and incisive bowing and plucking by Joe Morris. Then the tune advances into a brisk waltz-like dirge, a signature in Shipp's comping, followed by, consecutively fine paced solos by Morris and Dickey. This piece, having a very definite new form of construct, ends with a short Morris solo which leads into the fierce ‚ Nooks and Corners‚ which, in an explosive way, does just that, explore every nook and cranny of the keyboard‚Äôs capabilities and language.

Sliding Through Space‚ is a slow starting balladic piece that ends up being frighteningly disorienting, as the trio pounds away at our psyches and emotions, then in typical Shipp fashion we are brought safely back to our dreams.

On the track, Quivering with Speed‚ which as the title suggests, builds momentum as it goes along, we find Shipp quoting‚ Giant Steps‚ in the midst of the furor. From there he just climbs and climbs / advances / and takes new ground then  suddenly simply stops, leaving us hanging , jaws dropped, in mid flight.

The final two tracks give of more of this relentless search for a new musicality embedded in the oldest of traditions.

Shipp presents us with an extremely listenable cd, while managing to transport us to the outer limits of music. One feels a slight discomfort while being drawn in to this oddly relaxing vortex.

This music will surely vitalize you so don't let this cd slip through your fingers. Pick it up today.