Scrapbook has square dances and funk, gospel and kids 'songs, and it all sounds like Abstract Expressionist folk music. Bassist William Parker and drummer Hamid Drake can make you dance and they can make you think; they might be the finest rhythm section in contemporary jazz. Here they cede center stage to swinging and screeching Vietnam vet Billy Bang, whose violin chases airplanes like dogs chase cars. Watch out, though — once you get hooked on collecting albums by the prolific Mr. Parker, you're in for an expensive (and rewarding) hobby.
By Steve Holtje on 09.30.14 in Features
"When I look at the environment that exists for recorded music now, I'm starting to question the viability of an artist continuing to put product in the marketplace."
By Andy Battaglia on 09.09.14 in Reviews
Matthew Shipp is a valuable rejoinder to the seemingly inescapable question of whether, in terms of what constitutes its fitness as a contemporary genre, jazz is somehow "dead." A pianist for the ages, he has demonstrate...
By Kevin Whitehead on 12.19.13 in Spotlights
Nowadays, many jazz musicians either lead or play in several bands over the course of a single year, but it wasn't always so. Can you picture Coltrane in 1963 leading other groups on the side? His quartet kept him busy e...
By Phil Freeman on 02.28.12 in Reviews
The debut studio recording by pianist Matthew Shipp's current trio, previously heard on last year's live The Art of the Improviser, is a dense series of short, percussive vignettes on which drummer Whit Dickey is by far...