September 2007

Rose Recital Hall, Fisher-Bennet Hall (UPenn)34th and Walnut Streets
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: $12 General Admission
Sponsored by:
Thursday, September 6, 2007 - 8:00pm

Matthew Shipp Trio

Matthew Shipp, piano
Joe Morris, double-bass
Whit Dickey, drums

Please join us in celebration of Piano Vortex (Thirsty Ear Records' Blue Series), the new recording from Matthew Shipp's latest acoustic trio.

Stepping away from his electronic proclivities, Shipp delves deep into the original format that first gave birth to the very idea of jazz itself: the absolute freedom of an acoustic session. Joined by Whit Dickey on drums and Joe Morris on bass, Matthew's compositions ring with fresh new material that shows his expansive musical vocabulary. His trademark piano playing is, as always, beyond par, and the bass/drum interplay is nothing short of a deep musical conversation. This concert is a must for all fans of free jazz.

With his unique and recognizable style, pianist Matthew Shipp worked and recorded vigorously during the 1990s, creating music in which free jazz and modern classical intertwine. He first became known in the early 1990s as the pianist in the David S. Ware Quartet, and soon began leading his own dates -- most often including Ware bandmate and leading bassist William Parker -- and recording a number of duets with a variety of musicians, from the legendary Roscoe Mitchell to violinist Mat Maneri, who began appearing on recordings in the 1990s. Through his range of live and recorded performances and unswerving individual development, Shipp came to be regarded as a prolific and respected voice in creative music by the decade's close.

Born in the 1960s and raised in Wilmington, DE, Matthew Shipp grew up around 1950s jazz recordings. He began playing piano at the young age of five, and decided to focus on jazz by the time he was 12. Shipp played on a Fender Rhodes in rock bands while privately devouring recordings by a variety of jazz players. His first mentor was a man in his hometown named Sunyata, who had an enthusiasm for a variety of studies in addition to music. Shipp later studied music theory and improvisation under Clifford Brown's teacher Robert "Boisey" Lawrey, as well as classical piano and bass clarinet for the school band. After one year at the University of Delaware, Shipp left and took lessons with Dennis Sandole for a short time, after which he attended the New England Conservatory of Music for two years.

Shipp moved to N.Y.C. in 1984 and soon met bassist William Parker, among others. Both were playing with tenor saxophonist Ware by 1989. Meanwhile, Shipp had debuted as a recording artist in a duo with alto player Rob Brown on Sonic Explorations, recorded in November 1987 and February 1988. Shipp married singer Delia Scaife around 1990. He then went on to lead his own trio with Parker and drummers Whit Dickey and Susie Ibarra. Shipp has led dates for a number of labels, including FMP, No More, Eremite, Thirsty Ear, Silkheart, and more.

In 2000, Shipp began acting as curator for Thirsty Ear's Blue Series. This excellent series hosted a number of Shipp's own recordings, as well as the recordings of William Parker, Tim Berne, Roy Campbell, Craig Taborn, Spring Heel Jack, and Mat Maneri. The following year saw the release of Nu Bop, an exploration into traditional jazz, followed closely by its 2003 counterpart, Equilibrium. In 2004 Shipp released Harmony and Abyss, a meditation on repetitive melodic and harmonic structures.