After briefly reuniting with his previous threesome for the album Sonic Fiction — on which they were joined by sax and clarinet player Mat Walerian — jazz pianist Matthew Shipp has once again assembled his current trio for their third album, Signature (CD, digital). But it seems the time apart may have done them some good. For while Signature is as solid as the trio’s previous albums, The Conduct Of Jazz and Piano Song, it is a much more varied, and thus more interesting, collection.
Having recorded one live album on their own (2015’s excellent Live At Okuden) and a second live album as a trio with drummer Hamid Drake (2016’s also excellent Live At Okuden), the jazz duo of pianist, organist Matthew Shipp and alto saxophonist, bass clarinetist, soprano clarinetist, and flutist Matt Walerian are mixing things up again for This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People (CD, digital), their first studio album and first recording with bassist, shakuhachi player William Parker. That it took such a long sentence to explain was not intentional, but it was fitting given the music they’ve made this time out.