The Squid's Ear Magazine


Knuffke, Kirk Trio (w/ Bisio / Shipp): Gravity Without Airs  [2 CDs] (Tao Forms)

A mix of original compositions and collective improvisations from the NY trio of cornetist Kirk Knuffke, bassist Michael Bisio and pianist Matthew Shipp, in a double album of exemplary creative jazz from three players steeped in both tradition and forward-thinking approaches to improvisation, filled with spectacular playing from enthusiastic to introspective; a superb release.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Kirk Knuffke-cornet, compositions

Michael Bisio-bass

Matthew Shipp-piano


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UPC: 642623801024

Label: Tao Forms
Catalog ID: TAO 010CD
Squidco Product Code: 32044

Format: 2 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack - 4 panel
Recorded at Park West Studios, in Brooklyn, New York, by Jim Clouse.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"The exemplary & well-traveled cornetist Kirk Knuffke here introduces a bold new trio - with bassist Michael Bisio & pianist Matthew Shipp - on an intimate & expansive double album. Gravity Without Airs features the three world-class musicians on both Knuffke compositions and in open form, together creating a tour-de-force of poetry and verve.

This is Knuffke's debut as a leader for TAO Forms, following on his being elemental part of James Brandon Lewis / Red Lily Quintet's Jesup Wagon, one of the most acclaimed jazz releases of 2021. That album was eventually voted #1 Album of the Year in the JazzTimes Critics Poll & the international Jazz Critics Poll established by Francis Davis. Accolades for the cornetist's own recent work as leader include NPR's Jazz Album of the Year laurel for 2017's Cherryco, his homage to Don Cherry - a prime influence. DownBeat praised the way that album showcased Knuffke's "nonchalant versatility and ebullient melodic gifts," while esteemed critic Francis Davis called it "nothing short of spectacular."

On his guiding artistic impulse, Kirk Knuffke says: "I'm concerned with making beautiful music. Beauty is always first, though not in a precious way. It can be in a rough way, too." A prolific, lauded record-maker, Gravity Without Airs fulfills his poetic aims as well as any recording he has made. This work finds Knuffke in the rare, even unique, trio format of cornet, piano and double-bass. His partners are two ever-estimable pillars of creative music, and the work they've created together here brims with melody and mystery.

Regarding the album title, Knuffke explains: "I was reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius while preparing for this recording. He used the phrase 'gravity without airs', and it stuck with me. That's what it's all about! Being heavy but not putting on airs - that's what my favorite musicians do. In these days of social media and constant hype and self-promotion, this is what we should really aspire to: do the work and study, get into your thing and avoid showing it off half-cooked. Matthew and Michael have that sort of grace. I was really touched because once we started playing, they both got excited and wanted to play more and more - that's how we ended up with a double album," Knuffke recalls. "I hope people can listen to it as a whole, so they can hear all the subtleties as well as the shape and flow of the album. I have to say: I'm especially proud of this one." "-Tao Forms

Also available on vinyl LP.

Artist Biographies

"Cornetist and Composer Kirk Knuffke is the winner of Downbeat Magazine's "Rising Star"critics poll for 2015. A recipient of the Jerome Foundation composers grant, Kirk has released 15 recordings as a leader or co-leader. "One of modern jazz's most skilled navigators of the divide between inside and outside, freedom and swing", he has "full command of his most demanding instrument" - All About Jazz. Kirk placed in the top five in the World in the El Intruso critics poll and was one of 6 nominees for Trumpeter of the year by the Jazz Journalist Association.

Matt Wilson, Allison Miller, Butch Morris, Uri Caine, Michael Formanek, and many more have hired him as a sideman for over 60 recordings, he has been called "One of New York City's busiest musicians" - New York Times.

Knuffke has been based in NYC since 2005. Shortly after his arrival Knuffke began playing with Butch Morris, this friendship resulted in 4 recordings and several European tours. Kirk joined the celebrated Matt Wilson Quartet in 2009, recording "Gathering Call" (Palmetto) featuring John Medeski and touring each year. 2016 brought Matt Wilson's "Beginning of a memory" Palmetto, which received 5 stars in Downbeat Magazine. Michael Formaneks "The Distance" ECM was also awarded 5 stars this year. Knuffke also plays in "Sifter" with Mary Halvorson and Wilson, Ideal Bread, Allison Miller's "Boom Tic Boom", Todd Sickafoose's "Tiny Resistors" and groups led by Ray Anderson, Uri Caine, Mark Helias, Bill Goodwin, Karl Berger and Ted Brown to name a few. "Arm and Hands" a recent release garnering praise from every major Jazz publication as 4 Stars in Downbeat magazine review and Sunday New York Times. The Following CDs "Little Cross" Steeplechase records and "Lamplighter" Fresh Sound Records have also received much praise. Kirk Has had feature articles in Downbeat Magazine, Jazz Times, Germany's "Sonic", and Denmark's "JazzSpecial" among others."

-Kirk Knuffke Website (http://kirkknuffke.com/biography.html)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Michael Bisio, bassist/composer, has eighty five recordings in his discography, twenty four of these are split evenly between leader/co-leader, ten of them document his extraordinary association with modern piano icon Matthew Shipp. Michael has been called a poet, a wonder and one of the most virtuosic and imaginative performers on the double bass. Nate Chinen in the New York Times writes : "The physicality of Mr. Bisio's bass playing puts him in touch with numerous predecessors in the avant-garde, but his expressive touch is distinctive;..."

As a composer Michael has been awarded nine grants and an Artist Trust Fellowship

Collaborators include Matthew Shipp, Joe McPhee, Charles Gayle, Connie Crothers, Whit Dickey, Ivo Perelman, Barbara Donald, Newman Taylor Baker, Rob Brown, Sonny Simmons and Sabir Mateen."

-Michael Bisio Website (http://michaelbisio.com/bio.shtml)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Matthew Shipp was born December 7, 1960 in Wilmington, Delaware. He started piano at 5 years old with the regular piano lessons most kids have experienced. He fell in love with jazz at 12 years old. After moving to New York in 1984 he quickly became one of the leading lights in the New York jazz scene. He was a sideman in the David S. Ware quartet and also for Roscoe Mitchell's Note Factory before making the decision to concentrate on his own music.

Mr Shipp has reached the holy grail of jazz in that he possesses a unique style on his instrument that is all of his own- and he's one of the few in jazz that can say so. Mr. Shipp has recorded a lot of albums with many labels but his 2 most enduring relationships have been with two labels. In the 1990s he recorded a number of chamber jazz cds with Hatology, a group of cds that charted a new course for jazz that, to this day, the jazz world has not realized. In the 2000s Mr Shipp has been curator and director of the label Thirsty Ear's "Blue Series" and has also recorded for them. In this collection of recordings he has generated a whole body of work that is visionary, far reaching and many faceted."

-Matthew Shipp Website (http://www.matthewshipp.com/bio.html)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



CD1



1. Gravity Without Airs 11:37

2. Stars Go Up 05:38

3. Between Today and May 04:28

4. The Sun Is Always Shining 06:43

5. Birds of Passage 08:44

6. Time Is Another River 06:12

7. Paint Pale Silver 02:52

CD2



1. The Water Will Win 04:21

2. June Stretched 09:55

3. Blinds 06:08

4. Piece of Sky 06:22

5. Shadows to Dance 05:59

6. Heal the Roses 07:17

7. Today for Today 04:00

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Trio Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers
Jazz & Improvisation Based on Compositions

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Tao Forms.


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