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Matthew Shipp  

One (Thirsty Ear)

Pianist Matthew Shipp is among the new breed of jazz musicians who find inspiration outside the genre. He's recorded with indie-rock darlings Yo La Tengo and U.K. drum & bass experimentalists Spring Heel Jack. While his 2005 opus Harmony and Abyss (Thirsty Ear) was a dazzling, disquieting synthesis of free-jazz improvisation and claustrophobically dense, ethereal electronica, One is a more spartan affair, all acoustic piano and no overdubs. Shipp displays his mastery of rolling, darkly minimalist melody (the opener "Arc," the closer "Module"), and dives deep into snowbound midwestern melancholia as if it were the most natural thing in the world. The key to Shipp's success is that he never overplays, expressing as much with judicious, tantalizing silences as with enthralling style and technique.

More by Mark Keresman

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