Record Review Matthew Shipp I’ve Been To Many Places MusicThatJumpedTheShark.com
Who? Matthew Shipp I’ve Been To Many Places
Label? Thirsty Ear
Dirt: Great new compositions of jazz sketches from Mr. Shipp sure to delight all at your next shindig. Also included are great Shipp takes on the standards; Gershwin’s “Summertime”, Jack Lawrence/Walter Gross’ “Tenderly” and some nice surprises like a hot take on the Donny Hathaway classic “Where Is The Love?” by Ralph MacDonald/William Salter, & “Naima” by John Coltrane. It’s great to have the shamefully overlooked Donny Hathaway remembered anywhere. The Coltrane cover is especially exciting because somehow it would seem that Shipp’s unique place in the music world owes more influence from Coltrane’s explorations then the late Cecil Taylor – as is often misdiagnosed. The artwork is fine as done by Amy Bennick, but not as inspiring as her artwork for AMG’s Jiggable Pie as you will recall. The album was recorded in Park West Studios, located in the Prospect Park South area of Brooklyn, home to the largest array of Century-Old Victorian houses in the US helping the sound unconsciously, while engineer Jim Clouse helped consciously. Producer Peter Gordon is very much a house producer for record label Thirsty Ear whose hands are on much of their product, one thinks listening to this Shipp outing that it could have easily, and perhaps was, much more of Shipp in command and not really in need of any kind of ‘production’. It would be nice if Thirsty Ear would give Shipp a chunk of studio money without a record label hand hovering above his art and see where this Shipp sails. Bigger places? In his liner notes Shipp says “I don’t know what’s next for me”, putting these together it may seem the jazz genius has outgrown his record label. With further fine outings like this one available, we also look forward to bigger ‘Shipps’ coming in on another level.
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