Matthew Shipp (1960),
who relocated to New York in 1984, established his reputation in 1990
as a follower of Cecil Taylor's percussive style in
saxophonist David Ware's quartet along with bassist William Parker.
After ten Sonic Explorations (february 1988) with alto saxophonist Rob Brown, Shipp formed his own quartet, featuring Brown, Parker
and drummer Whit Dickey, and turned
to free jazz of the 1960s with the lengthy vehement improvisations of
Points (january 1990).
A trio with Parker and Dickey yielded the four-movement suite
Circular Temple (october 1990) and the live Prism (march 1993),
two creative sessions worthy of Cecil Taylor.
Between a stark duo with Parker Zo (may 1993),
the live solo performances of Before the World (june 1995),
the duets of 2-Z (august 1995) with saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell
and the brief solo post-bop vignettes of Symbol Systems (november 1995),
all of them more indebted towards Chicago's and London's "creative" scenes,
Shipp emancipated himself from the cliches of free-jazz via
a quartet featuring violinist Mat Maneri, Parker and Dickey (who in the meantime
had also joined Ware with Shipp and Parker). Their Critical Mass (september 1994) and The Flow of X (may 1995) moved towards
abstract soundpainting of the kind practiced by electronic musicians, albeit
rooted in the tradition of jazz instruments.
While he was still a pillar of Ware's quartet, Shipp started
collaborating also with tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman (1995-96).
A String Trio with Maneri and Parker crafted the brief watercolors of
By the Law of Music (august 1996). This marked the end of the
verbose, youthful, dense, free-jazz period. Shipp adopted a more concise style
and rediscovered the "song" format. His irrational and chaotic free-jazz style
metamorphosed into a close relative that was actually both rational and romantic.
After Thesis (january 1997) with guitarist Joe Morris, The Multiplication Table (july 1997), recorded by a trio with Parker and drummer Susie Ibarra, even included jazz standards.
Another drum-less ensemble, the Horn Quartet, featuring Parker, trumpeter Roy Campbell and alto saxophonist Daniel Carter, penned the 14 solos, duets, trios and quartets of Strata (december 1997), one of his most cerebral works
and the one that revealed Shipp's debt to classical music.
Shipp's numerous collaborations, that included
Gravitational Systems (may 1998) with Mat Maneri,
DNA (january 1999) with Parker,
and the solos, duets and trios with Parker and Brown of Magnetism (january 1999),
were mere teasers and/or detours.
The real "meat" was to be found in his trios and quartets:
the trio with Maneri (on electic violin) and drummer Randy Peterson of So What (august 1998),
the String Trio of Expansion Power Release (november 1999),
the quartet with Campbell, Parker and drummer Gerald Cleaver of Pastoral Composure (january 2000), one of his most romantic works,
the quartet with Leo Smith replacing Campbell of New Orbit (september 2000),
the trio with reed player Charles Waters and drummer Andrew Barker of Apostolic Polyphony (april 2001).
In the meantime, Dickey had formed the Nommonsemble with Maneri, Shipp and Brown that debuted with Life Cycle (september 2000), entirely compsoed by Dickey.
At the turn of the century, Shipp was ready to shift gear once more.
He began a collaboration with the electronic dance project Spring Heel Jack (2001-02), then he
experimented with hip-hop music on
Nu Bop (august 2001)
in the company of saxophonist/flutist Daniel Carter,
Parker, drummer Guillermo Brown, and
Chris Flam on synthesizer, drum machine and sampler.
That was only the appetizer, because soon Shipp was playing with
the hip-hop group Antipop Consortium (2002),
with DJ Spooky (2002) and
with rapper El-P (2003).
The problem is that Shipp never fully integrated his style with the dance
style of his partners.
The "nu bop" idea was continued on
Equilibrium (june 2002) with
Parker, Flam, Cleaver and vibraphonist Khan Jamal,
perhaps the most "sentimental" of the series,
on The Sorcerer Sessions (january 2003) with
Parker, Flam, Cleaver, clarinetist Evan Ziporyn and
violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain,
on Harmony and Abyss (february 2004), with just
Parker, Flam and Cleaver.
The solo-piano album One (april 2005) was also consistent with the "nu bop" program, as its short pieces echoed Thelonious Monk more clearly than it did Cecil Taylor.
Telephone Popcorn (June 2005) documents a live duet with Guillermo Brown (on zendrum, electronics, laptop).
Un Piano (july 2007)
was Matthew Shipp's second solo piano album.
A trio with Joe Morris on bass and Whit Dickey on drums released two albums, Piano Vortex (february, 2007) and Harmonic Disorder (august 2008).
was a collaboration
with J Spaceman (on Vox Starstreamer).
4D (may 2009 - Thirsty Ear, 2009) contains
16 brief tracks, recorded live in his studio.
was a collaboration with Sabir Mateen
The double-CD The Art Of The Improviser
(Thirsty Ear, 2011) contains
a trio album and a solo piano concert.
Cosmic Lieder (october 2012)
documents a collaboration with alto saxophonist Darius Jones.
Matthew Shipp's Knives From Heaven (2011), featuring William Parker (bass), Bean (vocals) and HPRIZM (electronics and vocals), toyed with jazz-hop.
Broken Partials (february 2010) documents a collaboration with pianist
Blink of an Eye (Thirsty Ear, 2011) documents a collaboration between
Matthew Shipp's Post Modern Jazz Quartet (vibraphonist Khan Jamal, bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Michael Thompson).
Elastic Aspects (2012) features
Michael Bisio (bass) and Whit Dickey (drums).
Matthew Shipp on Farfisa organ, J Spaceman and Spring Heel Jack's John Coxon on electric guitars, and Steve Noble on drums formed a quartet that debuted with the 38-minute piece of Black Music Disaster (february 2010 - Thirst Ear, 2012).
At Oto (february 2010) was a live performance by John Butcher and Matthew Shipp: two John Butcher solos a 15-minute Matt Shipp piano solo, and the 30-minute duet Generative Grammar.
Night Logic (july 2010) was a trio with Joe Morris on bass and Marshall Allen on alto sax.
Duos (2011) collects duets with Mat Maneri or Joe Morris.
Two quartets led by
saxophonist Ivo Perelman and
pianist Matthew Shipp
recorded the 45-minute piece of
Serendipity (recorded in 2011).
with bassist William Parker and drummer Gerald Cleaver,
The Edge (recorded in 2012),
Michael Bisio and drummer Whit Dickey.
The Art of the Duet (recorded in 2012) documents duets between Ivo
Perelman and Matthew Shipp.
The double-disc Rex, Wrecks & XXX (september 2011) was a collaboration between Matthew Shipp (piano) and Evan Parker (tenor sax), including the 42-minute improvisation XXX.
Collaborations between Ivo Perelman and Matthew Shipp yielded
the duets of The Art of the Duet (recorded in 2012),
Enigma (may 2013), that also features the drummers Whit Dickey and Gerald Cleaver,
the film soundtrack A Violent Dose of Anything (may 2013), that features violinist Mat Maneri.
Piano Sutras (february 2013) was a solo
Root Of Things (september 2013) documents the trio of Matthew Shipp (piano & compositions), Michael Bisio (bass) and Whit Dickey (drums).
The trio of saxophonist Ivo Perelman, pianist Matthew Shipp and
bassist William Parker recorded Book Of Sound (october 2013).
Cosmic Lieder, i.e. Shipp and alto saxophonist Darius Jones,
Cosmic Lieder (october 2012) and
The Darkseid Recital (recorded between 2011 and 2013).
I've Been To Many Places (Thirsty Ear, 2014) was another solo piano album.
The trio of Matt Shipp (piano), Michael Bisio
(acoustic bass) and Mat Maneri (viola) recorded the 15 "chapters" of
The Gospel According To Matthew & Michael (october 2014).
Alternating Current (november 2013), featuring Jeff Cosgrove on drums and William Parker on bass, contains Cosgrove's 39-minute Bridges Of Tomorrow.
Declared Enemy, a quartet with Sabir Mateen (tenor sax and clarinet), William Parker (double bass) and Gerald Cleaver (drums), debuted with Our Lady Of The Flowers (june 2013).
The double-disc Callas (march 2015) and Complementary Colors (april 2015) were two collaborations with Ivo Perelman.
Shipp's own trio with Michael Bisio on bass and Newman Taylor Baker
on drums released The Conduct Of Jazz (april 2015).
The Core Trio with Seth Paynter (tenor sax), Thomas Helton (double bass) and Joe Hertenstein (drums) recorded
the 42-minute piece of The Core Trio With Matthew Shipp (2014) and
the two long pieces (31 and 34 minutes) of The Core Trio Live Featuring Matthew Shipp (november 2014).
The Core Trio Live Featuring Matthew Shipp (november 2014) documents a live performance with bassist Thomas Helton, drummer Joe Hertenstein and saxtenorist Seth Paynter.
Cactus (Northern Spy, 2016) was a collaboration with
veteran drummer Bobby Kapp.
John Butcher (sax and feedback), Thomas Lehn (analogue synthesiser) and Matthew Shipp (piano) recorded Tangle (february 2014).
Matthew Shipp's trio with Bisio and Baker returned with
Piano Song (april 2016).