Exclusive Interview: Sonic Fiction Pianist Matthew Shipp & Saxophonist/Clarinetist Mat Walerian

Having recorded as a duo (2015’s Live At Okuden), a trio with drummer Hamid Drake  (2016’s Live At Okuden), and a trio with bassist William Parker (2017’s This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People), you’d expect the jazz twosome of pianist Matthew Shipp and clarinetist, saxophonist Mat Walerian to next record a quartet collection, perhaps with Drake and Parker. But while their new album Sonic Fiction (CD, digital), was recorded by four people, it’s not the four you might expect. Credited to the Matthew Shipp Quartet Featuring Mat Walerian, Sonic Fiction features Michael Bisio on double bass and drummer Whit Dickey. In talking to Shipp and Walerian, they discuss why this album is so unexpected, and what else they’re planning, as well as Shipp’s new solo piano collection Zero (CD, digital) and his three-disc boxed set with tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman, Oneness (CD).

Music Reviews

Jungle | Mat Walerian, Matthew Shipp, Hamid Drake: Live At Okuden Review

Though it shares the same name, was recorded a few months later during the same concert series, and is a collection jazz that runs from the atmospheric to the noisy, the second Live At Okuden album (CD, digital) by jazz maestros Mat Walerian and Matthew Shipp — on which they’re joined, this time around, by Hamid Drake under the name Jungle — is anything but a rerun. Well, except in how good it is.