2014 marked the end of an era of sorts for the brilliant jazz pianist Matthew Shipp, when his longtime companion on drums Whit Dickey departed. Dickey’s post-Shipp career got off on some strong footing with a collaboration with mutual friend Ivo Perelman, and soon we will know what a Shipp-led trio without Dickey will sound like as well.
The Conduct of Jazz finds Shipp back at his familiar label, Thirsty Ear Records, and a familiar bassist — the grossly undermentioned Michael Bisio — but a new face behind the drum kit. Newman Taylor Baker brings an embarrassment of riches in terms of experience and innovation. He’s worked with plenty of forward-thinking jazz artists; Henry Threadgill, Billy Bang, Henry Grimes, Leroy Jenkins, and Billy Harper to name of few. Baker, who also plays a mean washboard, is perhaps best known for his solo drum tour de force Singin’ Drums. There is little doubt he will make his own mark on the Matthew Shipp Trio.
In the preview video above, Shipp is signalling a return to more mainstream jazz, but strictly on his and his band’s terms: “On this album, I’m really focused on the jazz trio tradition, even though we’re doing it in our own way.” Adds Bisio, “The music we play is steeped in tradition without being traditional; we understand the jazz tradition, we want to be able to add something to the vocabulary.”
Especially with the addition of Baker, who Shipp lauds for his “extreme experience and tastefulness,” we couldn’t expect anything less.
The Conduct of Jazz is slated for release in October, 2015.
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