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Music Reviews

Matthew Shipp Trio: “New Concepts In Piano Trio Jazz” Review

 

When it comes to the configurations of jazz groups, trios with a piano player, a bassist, and a drummer are as common as, well, quartets with a saxophonist, and quintets fronted by saxophonists and trumpet players.

It’s why the last thing I need is another common jazz trio.

An uncommon one, however…

This brings me to New Concepts In Piano Trio Jazz (CD, digital), the new and promissory album by the Matthew Shipp Trio. Which, for the record, is comprised of Shipp on piano, Michael Bisio on bass, and Newman Taylor Baker on drums.

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Music Reviews

Ivo Perelman, Mark Helias, Tom Rainey: “Truth Seeker” Review

 

When it comes to music, we don’t always know what we’re going to get, even when we know the players.

But occasionally, you can get a good idea.

Case in point: On April 5th, 2024, jazz saxophonist Ivo Perelman and pianist Matthew Shipp will release their latest in a long line of collaborations, Water Music, a quartet recording that also features bassist Mark Helias and drummer Tom Rainey.

But right now, you can get a sense of how well Perelman, Helias, and Rainey work together courtesy of their new trio album, Truth Seeker (digital). And given that Shipp has collaborated with Perelman frequently, and with Helias a couple times (Pathways, The New Syntax), well…

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Music

The Jimi Hendrix Experience: “Hollywood Bowl, August 18, 1967” Review

 

In their three years together, The Jimi Hendrix Experience played more than 300 shows together. And in the 54 years since they broke up, it feels like they’ve released nearly as many live albums.

But the new Hollywood Bowl, August 18, 1967 (CD, vinyl, digital) is somewhat unique in being that it comes from a show where most of the attendees, if not all, were unfamiliar with the band, let alone the music they were about to, well, experience.

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Music Reviews

Ivo Perelman, Nate Wooley: “Polarity 2” Review

 

It’s funny, while sequels are common in movies and video games, it’s not something musicians usually do, especially jazz ones. Sure, Meatloaf made Bat Out Of Hell II Back Into Hell, and Metallica followed “The Unforgiven” with “The Unforgiven II” and “The Unforgiven III,” but Miles Davis never made Bitches Brew II or Miles Smiles 2 or Round About Noon.

But that’s exactly what free jazz adjacent tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman and trumpet player Nate Wooley have done with Polarity 2 (CD, digital), their sequel to 2021’s Polarity. Well, sort of. Polarity 2 doesn’t answer all of the unanswered questions from Polarity. Nor does it continue the story or build upon the gameplay from the first one. Or give us another adventure for the superhero named Polarity. But it does do a good job of giving us some rather horn-y jazz instrumentals.

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Music Reviews

Mark Reboul, Roberta Piket, Billy Mintz’s “Seven pieces / about an hour / saxophone, piano, drums” Review

 

A good jazz trio is a thing of beauty. But it can also be a thing of redundancy, given how so many of them are just piano, bass, and drums, and how, for every Red Garland Trio or Keith Jarrett / Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette team-up, you have sixty-seven others who add nothing new. Which is why I got excited by Seven pieces / about an hour / saxophone, piano, drums (CD, digital), the first album by the trio of saxophonist Mark Reboul, piano player Roberta Piket, and drummer Billy Mintz. Yes, a bass-less trio. Color me intrigued.

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Music Reviews

Ivo Perelman, Aruán Ortiz, Lester St. Louis’ “Prophecy” Review

 

Though he seems to record a new album with pianist pal Matthew Shipp every week, and has also recorded a bunch with bassist Michael Bisio, violinist / violist Mat Maneri, and drummers Whit Dickey and Gerald Cleaver, jazz saxophonist Ivo Perelman seems just as comfortable working with new people, too. Of the nine piano players he teamed with for 2021’s duets boxed set Brass And Ivory Tales, for instance, only one was someone with whom he’d previously collaborated.

Which brings me to his new album, Prophecy, on which he teams with cellist Lester St. Louis for the first time, and pianist Aruán Ortiz for the second after…well, what do you know? Brass And Ivory Tales.

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Music Reviews

Ivo Perelman, Matthew Shipp, Jeff Cosgrove: “Live In Carrboro” Review

 

While tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman and pianist Matthew Shipp are so prolific — both individually and as a duo — that even Prince would’ve told them to chill out, the same cannot oddly be said for the trio they sometimes have with drummer Jeff Cosgrove. In fact, in the six years between releasing the trio’s first album, 2017’s Live In Baltimore, and the new Live In Carrboro (digital), Perelman and Shipp recorded nearly a dozen duo albums together, including (but not limited to) Fruition, Amalgam, and Triptych. And that’s not even counting all the ones they made on their own and with other people. But rather than be offended that he doesn’t get to play with his friends as much as he might like, Messrs. Cosgrove should instead revel in the knowledge that, as displayed on this album, it’s pretty cool when he does.

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Music Reviews

Ivo Perelman, Matthew Ship: “Triptych” Review

 

Andy Warhol once said, “Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.” But even he would’ve thought it was a bummer that, because of financial considerations, the new album Triptych by jazz saxophonist Ivo Perelman and pianist Matthew Shipp went from being a boxed set that presented an album’s worth of music each on CD, LP, and a cassette, and with each recorded with those formats in mind, to only being released digitally as Triptych I, Triptych II, and Triptych III. And while, sure, I really can’t hear the difference in audio quality (which might explain why I’m a music critic, not a music creator), and the songs are good regardless, I still can’t help but wish that Perelman and Shipp had gotten to see the collection as they intended.

For the rest of us, though, all three Triptych sets present the kind of free jazz adjacent music these two have presented countless times before on such albums as Fruition, Special Edition Box, and Amalgam (as you can see from my reviews here, here, and here).

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Music Reviews

The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “Los Angeles Forum: April 26, 1969” Review

 

Released in 1990 as part of the Lifelines: The Jimi Hendrix Story boxed set, the concert presented on The L.A. Forum Concert has long been the best live recording of The Jimi Hendrix Experience from their Electric Ladyland tour. And now it’s even better thanks to Los Angeles Forum: April 26, 1969 (CD, digital, vinyl), a remastered, more readily available, and (more importantly) complete recording of that excellent show.