On Wednesday February 20, pianist/composer Matthew Shipp
recorded his next Thirsty Ear record, Piano Sutras
, at Park West Studios in Brooklyn. Jim Clouse was the recording engineer and Thirsty Ear owner Peter Gordon was the producer. It's a solo piano recording of originals by Mr. Shipp plus a couple of standards.
Shipp said, “I continue to pursue my own unique brand of piano language and feel intense growth. I developed a set of compositions for this CD that compel a devotional space albeit in a jazz language- hence the title Piano Sutras. Maybe the CD is a prayer to the piano gods, who knows?
Also included are a couple of little standards that just came out during the session, a ballad version of Giant Steps" by John Coltrane
inspired by having heard Phineas Newborn, Jr. do this tune as a ballad and there is a version of Nefertiti" by Wayne Shorter
that I did as a joke during the session but it came out nice, so we are going to use it.
It was inspired by an expanded version of some Wayne Shorter song I heard pianist Kirk Lightsey
do in the early 1980s. Since Wayne is being kicked around in media these days, I thought it would be cool to cover one of his songs. Both standards fit somehow into the expanded harmonic continuum of the CD.
But the meat of the CD is my own compositions and my own language and my own approach to the conundrum of improvisation on the keyboard. I think I have come to my own conclusions different from others known for stretching out in solo piano improvisational formats.
The release date on Thirsty Ear for Piano Sutras will be sometime around September 2013.”
Producer Peter Gordon summarizes the outcome.
“I've come to expect the unexpected with Matthew Shipp, but coming out of the studio session for his solo album Piano Sutras
, I was struck by his alchemic artistry that blends centuries of musical thought, yet, somehow, seamlessly makes it wholly original. And I knew Matt had reached a new plateau, when he floated back to the control room and was equally mystified by what had just happened.”
Mr Shipp’s current Thirsty Ear CD is Matthew Shipp Greatest Hits
which contains cuts from all of his Blue Series CDs from 2000-2012.
His residency at the Stone
begins tonight through Sunday April 7th.