Matthew Shipp: The Piano Equation (album review by Christa V.)

Shipp is an experienced pianist, he has been making music since the 80s and this release marked his sixtieth birthday! Even with all that though, it is clear that he still has something to say through his jazz piano solos. This album consists of 11 different solo originals that range from soaring melodies, to jazzy bops, to densely packed walls of sound. The sheer variety itself is something to behold. On “Swing Note from Deep Space” he clearly demonstrates his jazz influences and manages to conjure up a cosmic big band all on his own! The third track, “Piano in Hyperspace,” maintains some of the dissonance and jazz roots but dials it back to create ethereal melodies. The final track, “Cosmic Juice,” brings it all together with rhythms being banged out in quick succession, but also pausing at times to let a chord ring out. An album with plenty of thought and experience behind it, this is worth a listen (or two)!  Favorite tracks: 2, 3, 11

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