New York pianist Matthew Shipp in a live concert at Okunden Music Concert Series in 2015 with Polish woodwind player Mat Walerian, performing on alto saxophone, bass clarinet, soprano clarinet, flute; 10 lyrical and beautifully paced original jazz compositions.
Shipp, Matthew / Mat Walerian Duo
The Uppercut: Live At Okuden
Released in: Great Britain
"Jane Austen was mistaken when she wrote "Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable." Passing away at the age of 41 in 1817, she would not have had the opportunity to hear either jazz, nor the music of Matthew Shipp and Mat Walerian.
The surprise here is twofold; first, the discovery of a new voice, Polish reedsman Mat Walerian and second, the opportunity to hear pianist Matthew Shipp in his most sympathetic supporting role. Shipp has played in the duo format before with horn players, notably with Roscoe Mitchell and Rob Brown, more recently with Ivo Perelman, John Butcher, and Darius Jones. Where past sessions were often defined by friction (a successful improvising strategy), this session is cloaked with a feeling of amity and warmth.
Recorded live in Torun, Poland in 2012, the audience maintains the quiet until the penultimate 16-minute piece "Black Rain." Until then, it's nearly impossible to sense their presence. Or maybe it is the audience that is the impetus for this collaboration. The concert opens with the woody bass clarinet of Walerian, who we are told is a mostly self-taught artist. His tone is more relaxed then say Eric Dolphy's, he seems unperturbed that his debut recording is with this modern master. Shipp is obliged to maintain a decorous approach, too. His signature thunderous left hand is held in reserve for much of the recording; he is content to oil a meditative saucepan, steering away from the sauté. The two alto saxophone pieces, "Free Bop Statement One" and "Free Bop Statement Two" carom and bounce with Shipp's spry, buoyant lines and Walerian giving chase. His saxophone recalls the breathy tone of Johnny Hodges. "Love And The Other Species" is a soulful semi-blues and "It's Sick Out There" ploughs a bit of delirium into the mix with its rush of emotion. The pianist plies his familiar exploratory hand to "Peace And Respect," that opens up into Walerian's meditation. The like-minded pair coauthor a genuine statement of just that peace and respect. Highly recommended."-, Mark Corroto, All About Jazz
"Matthew Shipp, the supreme jazz pianist of his generation, and Mat Walerian, the finest Polish jazz woodwind player of his, have combined their talents in concert on several occasions. This album documents one such instance, from May 2012.
Shipp hardly needs an introduction at this point thanks to a career of over a quarter century, including not only many acclaimed albums under his own name but also a long and prominent tenure in the David S. Ware Quartet and a vast array of collaborations with the likes of Spring Heel Jack, Ivo Perelman, Sabir Mateen, Darius Jones, Joe Morris, Jemeel Moondoc, and more.
Walerian is the younger of the two, and because of that and Americans' myopia about foreign jazz masters, many jazz fans are not as familiar with his work as they are with Shipp's. One listen to this album should convince everyone of the imaginative depth of his musical vision and the likelihood that he will soon be counted among the avant-jazz scene's international stars. Largely self-taught and deeply immersed in Eastern philosophy, his approach to improvisation is unique and compelling."-ESP-Disk
Related Categories of Interest:
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Piano & Keyboards
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
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Catalog ID: ESPDISK 5007CD
Squidco Product Code: 20566
Country: Great Britain
Recorded At Okunden Music Concert Series in May 15th, 2012.
Mat Walerian-alto saxophone, bass clarinet, soprano clarinet, flute
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1. Introduction 5:42
2. Blues For Acid Cold 7:19
3. Jungle Meditation 2:20
4. Free Bop Statement One 2:38
5. Free Bop Statement Two 5:46
6. It's Sick Out There 7:48
7. Love And The Other Species 7:56
8. Peace And Respect 6:07
9. Black Rain 16:19
10. Encore 5:31