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iTunes Review

Since emerging in the late 1980s, the pianist Matthew Shipp has released numerous albums that have found him in a variety of musical settings. He’s put out several solo piano albums, including 2002’s Songs, where he explored standards, and 2006’s One, which presents original material. 2010’s 4D includes both covers and original compositions. The title track displays Shipp’s unique touch — call it lyricism with an edge — and it serves as a fine opener. Like Keith Jarrett or Cecil Taylor, two very different pianists, Shipp clearly draws from modernist European music as well as jazz. “The Crack in the Piano’s Egg” shifts gears a number of times, a fractured gem that's well-titled. About halfway through the album, the listener encounters the first cover, a compelling version of Cole Porter’s “What Is This Thing Called Love” that would not go down easy in a cocktail lounge. The last three tracks intrigue: a straight-ahead (and brief) take on Charles Converse’s “What a Friend We Have in Jesus;” a richly colored original, “Primal Harmonic;” and the traditional “Greensleeves,” which is marked by eruptions of pounding harmonies.

Customer Reviews


I wish I could just bang on my piano, play broken melodies and get a record label!!!


Born: December 7, 1960 in Wilmington, DE

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

With his unique and recognizable style, pianist Matthew Shipp worked and recorded vigorously from the late '80s onward, creating music in which free jazz and modern classical intertwined. He first became well known in the early '90s as the pianist in the David S. Ware Quartet, and soon began leading his own dates -- most often including Ware bandmate and leading bassist William Parker -- and recording a number of duets with a variety of musicians, from the legendary Roscoe Mitchell to violinist Mat...
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4D, Matthew Shipp
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