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Scanner (Robin Rimaud) with the PMJQ (Matthew Shipp, Khan Jamal, Michael Bisio and Michael Thompson) adding cinematic approaches to jazz tradition through electronics and keyboards.

Scanner / The Post Modern Jazz Quartet
Blink of an Eye

Scanner / The Post Modern Jazz Quartet: Blink of an Eye (Thirsty Ear)
Label: Thirsty Ear    
Released in: USA    

"If the early works of Robin Rimbaud (aka Scanner) can be described as voyeuristic, then Blink Of An Eye might just be Frotteurism, the act of touching others, usually in crowds, without their ever knowing. On Blink of an Eye he alters, accents and manipulates a jazz quartet's sound, often without it being obvious.

Scanner began producing music in the late 1980s/early 1990s by pirating cellphone calls and working them into his electronic sound, an approach that fits nicely with pianist Matthew Shipp's "nubop" concept. Rimbaud and Shipp built this recording around the tradition and lineup of the famed Modern Jazz Quartet-piano, vibes, bass, and drums. Here, Shipp is joined by vibraphonist Khan Jamal, bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Michael Thompson.

Rimbaud's contribution, unlike a turntable DJ/producer, isn't one of mucking things up or shepherding the jazz into club music. He prefers to accentuate the concepts of the quartet instead of distract from it. Shipp and company are content to advance the original Modern Jazz Quartet's approach to the traditions of jazz into the 21st century.

Rimbaud applies synth washes, barely noticeable at times. Echoey reverberations of the music-making are ghostly and wistful. Jamal's ringing vibraphone, on the standard "Blues In C," echoes back upon the players, as Scanner manipulates the reverb, and Shipp searches out notes between eerie synth jabs. The electronics never feel foreign to the quartet's progression, nor do they deflect the drive. Previous Shipp discs, including Equilibrium (Thirsty Ear, 2004) and Harmony And Abyss (Thirsty Ear, 2003), may have set the table for this collaboration, but here the fusion (bad word) of jazz and electronics is a success.

From the jazz tradition, the band moves toward an open and rapid groove on "Most With the Least," as Rimbaud whispers with electronic mice, the producer even pulling out his voice samples on "Not A Frame Earlier Or Later." The disc ends with Shipp's nubop groove on "Beyond The Edge Of The Frame," perhaps hinting at the next progression for this collaboration."-Mark Corroto, All About Jazz

"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 (

See all items in the Thirsty Ear category

Related Categories of Interest:

Thirsty Ear

Improvised Music
Electronic Forms
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
Quintet Recordings

Get additional information at All About Jazz

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Price: $14.95
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 3.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 700435719521

Label: Thirsty Ear
Catalog ID: 57195
Squidco Product Code: 14169

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2010
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded by Hugo Dwyer at MPI Studios in New York, NY. Additional recording done at The Soap Factory, London, in 2010.


Robin Rimbaud-electronics, keyboards

Matthew Shipp-piano

Khan Jamal-vibes

Michael Biso-bass

Michael Thompson-drums

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Track Listing:

1. Shadow Splice 6:11

2. C Jam Blues 5:25

3. A Galaxy Of Winking Dots 4:01

4. Not A Frame Earlier Or Later 4:12

5. Involuntary Re Ex 4:02

6. Most With The Least 3:47

7. Dreaming With You At My Side 3:39

8. The Decisive Moment 4:48

9. Cuts And Shadows 4:24

10. Beyond The Edge Of The Frame 4:37