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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

Matthew Shipp - piano
Mat Maneri - violin
William Parker - bass
Recorded New York, 5th August 1996.
hatOLOGY 574


1. Signal
2. By The Law Of Music
3. Implicit
4. Fair Play
5. Grid
6. Whole Movement
7. Game Of Control
8. Point To Point
9. P X
10. Grid
11. Coo
12. X Z U
13. Solitude

This recording is illustrative of music at the cutting edge. I suppose it is what used to be called "The Avant Garde", and to many listeners might seem to be a daunting prospect. However, if one is capable of overcoming the dissonant early impressions given by this disc, I feel sure the purchaser will come to appreciate the rich music, both in terms of roots and the experimentation, contained here.

Shipp acknowledges his debt to players such as Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk and the latter is highly prominent in his style. Perhaps even more obvious is the influence of Duke Ellington - both in terms of attack and in terms of the orchestral manner inherent in much of the music to be found here. The music contained here is an unashamed continuation of the freer sounds introduced by such late 60's and 70's players as Cecil Taylor and Pharoah Sanders - indeed Shipp is a regular member of the group led by the magnificent saxophonist who has continued to develop this style, David S Ware.

Mat Manieri contributes some interesting violin passages, his playing is a fascinating mixture of conventional sound and more experimental effects. William Parker is very much an equal part of the trio and his pizzicato style is particularly pertinent to the pieces here. There are several passages of solo piano, and it is perhaps in these that it is easiest to hear the myriad influences present in Shipp's performing. For all this might be termed as "Free Jazz" there is an inordinate amount of control in the leader's concept and delivery.

The first twelve selections comprise a suite named which gives rise to the title of this CD and was written by Matthew Shipp. The composer likens his work to maths or a formula for metaphysics and describes this work as "a kinetic grid". It is an added treat to hear the more conventional Ellington tune as a closer to this disc. I enjoyed this release increasingly with repeated listening and would recommend it to the listener who wishes to try something a little more experimental. This is art of a high quality.

Dick Stafford


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