Matthew Shipp's new album is titled World Construct. It’s a fitting title, for in his career of over three decades, he has constructed his own world of jazz. And I’m not just saying that: this press release could be entirely built from the raves of critics. “As Matthew Shipp's catalog expands, so does our understanding of the depth and breadth of his genius.”1 “A gateway to higher improvisation that is practically without parallel. Matthew Shipp is the connection between that past, present and future for jazzheads of all ages.”2 He “has produced a recording of great beauty and logic, creating distinct performances that are simultaneously shocking and beautiful, equally classic and daring. Shipp has been able to create pieces out of thin air that seem utterly worthy of composition. The music seems to be pulled directly from the realm where mathematics and magic collide.
What Matthew Shipp has done is a profound achievement. ”3 “Shipp's music is an intellectual music. Literally, his ‘emotions’ seemingly taking cues from the impulses of his active mind as it instructs him how to move his fingers on the keyboard. Which doesn't mean his music is coldass or forbidding—a Matthew Shipp recording documents the many conceivable ways a human brain can work its magic. His brain’s capacity for surprise is his subject matter; it fascinates him, keeps him company on cold nights. While it's obviously true that many of our advanced musicians have mined the fertile ground that lies somewhere between their brains, hearts and limbs, it's just that Shipp is especially geniuslike at it.”4 “Unleashed with the kind of power imparted to them by his supple fingers, these notes and this music becomes something living and breathing, dancers indeed. Each title is seemingly a trigger which causes the hands—and fingers—of the pianist to leap and fly, and defy gravity not only with notes that ascend, light as air, as if to a rarefied realm. This is clearly the creation of a major composer whose pianism also suggests great cohesion of form and function, and above all, lyricism that sets Mr. Shipp apart in the same way that it did for musicians such as Thelonious Monk and Cecil Taylor.
''5 ''Matthew Shipp confirms he is one of the best pianists of his generation. A monumental work that befits a place of choice in the jazz piano pantheon.''6 So you won’t want to miss World Construct, recorded during the pandemic with his trio of five years. It will soon be seen as an important piece of the jazz edifice that is Mr. Shipp’s magnificent career.