For a while around the turn of the millennium, avant-jazz pianist Matthew Shipp threatened to stop recording. One could understand why: he’s prolific beyond belief, and one could understand that an artist in the ‘out jazz’ realm might be fearful that an overly compendious catalog might be harmful to sales and recouping recording costs. Happily for those of us who wanted MORE from Matthew, he decided not to stay away from the studio, and has continued to record prolifically.
Shipp has also served as the curator of Thirsty Ear’s Blue Series, an imprint that has served to blur the boundaries of free and neo-trad jazz, and of jazz with other stylistic categories: electronica, hip hop, and even contemporary concert music. On his latest release, 4D, he’s continued in this vein. A solo outing, it presents both Shipp originals and standards. He even tackles venerable chestnuts such as “Prelude to a Kiss” and “Autumn Leaves,” as well as the gospel hymn “What a Friend we have in Jesus.”
We don’t have audio from the album that’s cleared for posting yet, but here’s a recent video of Shipp performing solo to whet your appetite for 4D.