Blood Trio | feat. Sabir Mateen, Michael Bisio, Whit Dickey | Understory | Not Two Records

We’ve reviewed albums before with saxophonist and clarinetist Sabir Mateen bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Whit Dickey. Use the “search” engine on the right and lists of albums will appear, with the three artists as leaders in their respective bands, and in bands like Frode Gjerstad’s Circulasione Totale, William Parker’s orchestras, the David S Ware bands, or in albums with Joe Morris, Matthew Shipp, Joe McPhee, Daniel Carter … and many more. And now we get all three in a trio, and a real trio, with all three musicians shaping the sound. Is it all improvised? It’s hard to say, because most of the tracks have a clear and identifiable sound or even a theme, that, vague as it may be, creates the focus for the ensuing free development, with an underlying boppish element that is never far away. — Stef Continue reading

Rob Brown | Joe Morris | Matthew Shipp | Whit Dickey | Right Hemisphere | RogueArt Jazz

Right hemisphere the intuitive side of the brain – the god part of brain – the part that processes in wholes not in linear sequences – the part that is out of time and rooted in eternity… …These pieces are not collective improvisations but are a series of concepts and gestures put forth, discussed and then acted upon musically. — Matthew Shipp, excerpt from the liner notes Continue reading

Whit Dickey Trio | Emergence | Not Two Records

Ms. Eri Yamamoto is a NY based jazz pianist who has been playing regularly with her own trio for nearly a decade. After releasing three discs on her own Jane Street label, Eri hooked up with Matt Shipp and William Parker and has been moving into freer playing and forms. After playing on two discs for William Parker, Thirsty Ear released two discs under Eri’s name, another trio date and a duos session with William Parker, Hamid Drake, Daniel Carter & Federico Ughi. On each of these discs, Eri’s playing gets more adventurous. I caught this trio with Eri, Daniel Carter & Whit Dickey at this year’s Vision Fest (2009) and was knocked out by their performance. This is a studio recording and does have impressive sound and although these are group improvisations, it rarely sounds that way. “Conversation” is sparse and rather bluesy yet minimal piano, simmering muted trumpet and ultra subtle drums. What’s is interesting about this disc is that both Daniel Carter and Whit Dickey are known for being some of downtown’s most intense free improvisers, yet here they are unusually restrained and fit perfectly with the calm yet quietly provocative overall vibe. For “Get Up”, it is as if the players are moving through a dream and swinging at a medium tempo. “Mobile” is even more sparse and haunting, with exquisite flute from DC and suspense-filled sounds from Eli and Whit. “Twirls” is aptly titles since Whit sounds like he is twirling, providing the central uplifting rhythmic flow with the piano and tenor spinning around him. Throughout this disc Eli paints a skeletal thread between the members of this fine trio, weaving as one elegant singular force. A surprise move, a sly feint, from what we might otherwise expect from these folks. — Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery Continue reading

Matthew Shipp Quartet | Cosmic Suite | Not Two Records

Featuring Matt Shipp on piano, Daniel Carter on reeds & trumpet, Joe Morris on double bass and Whit Dickey on drums. As the amazing pianist and composer, Matt Shipp, closes in on his 100th disc as a leader or sideman, it is good thing that he didn’t honor his promise to retire from recording like he said a few years back. I believe that this particular quartet has not recorded before this, although all of the members have played together in other combinations. Matt, Joe & Whit have been playing as a trio for the past few years and Daniel can be heard on a variety of previous Matt Shipp dates. Starting with “Cosmic Suite – Part One,” Daniel is playing some lovely, laid-back, muted trumpet while the rest of the quartet swirls calmly around him. This has to be some of the most calm and enchanting music we’ve heard from Matt and his cohorts in recent memory. When Daniel switches to tenor sax, the quartet starts swirling more intensely, the waves building higher and higher. The recording and balance are especially well done, so the quartet sounds mighty fine. On each piece, Matt provides a different yet somehow connected theme, often reflective yet also quite intense. “Cosmic Suite – Part Four” reminds me of a Monk songs, it is somewhat lopsided and it is interesting to hear Daniel Carter playing in such a more inside way. On “Part Five,” Matt plays these shimmering, dark chords that sound as if we are swimming at the bottom of the ocean in slow motion. As we rise closer to the surface, there is a peaceful calm that washes over us until things get a bit bumpy once more. Each part of the “Cosmic Suite” seems to evoke a slightly different spirit or image. It sounds as if Matt has selected just the right musicians for this suite since each one fits so perfectly into the cosmic flow. This might just be Matt Shipp’s finest disc, it certainly feel that way as I sit back in my chair sipping on some coconut coffee in front of my computer on a hot summer’s night. — BLG, Downtown Music Gallery Continue reading