"Matthew Shipp (born December 7, 1960) is an American pianist, composer and bandleader.
Shipp was raised in Wilmington, Delaware, and began playing piano at six years old. His mother was friend of trumpeter Clifford Brown.
He was strongly attracted to jazz, but also played in rock groups while in high school. Shipp attended the University of Delaware for one year, then the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with saxophonist/composer Joe Maneri. He has cited private lessons with Dennis Sandole (who also taught saxophonist John Coltrane) as being crucial to his development.
Shipp has been very active since the early 1990s, appearing on dozens of albums as a leader, sideman or producer. He was initially most active in free jazz, but has since branched out, notably exploring music that touches on contemporary classical, hip hop and electronica. His dense, percussive style is often compared to Cecil Taylor's, although Shipp has argued such comparisons are mostly superficial.
Shipp has long been a member of saxophonist David S. Ware's quartet. He has recorded or performed with many musicians, including William Parker, DJ Spooky, Joe Morris, Daniel Carter, Roscoe Mitchell, Mat Maneri, High Priest and Beans of Antipop Consortium, and El-P."
Matthew Ship "Nu Bop - The Blue Series" (2002)
Track listing: Space Shipp; Nu-Bop; ZX-1; D's Choice; X-Ray; Rocket Shipp; Select Mode 1; Nu Abstract; Select Mode 2.
Personnel: Matthew Shipp: piano; William Parker: bass; Daniel Carter: saxophones & flute; Guillermo E. Brown: drums; FLAM: synths & programming.
"Shipp mixes up the performances on Nu Bop, interspersing spacey improv pieces with heavy-driving grooves. "Nu Abstract," toward the end of the record, makes heavy use of electronic textures to achieve an open, spacious feel. "ZX-1," on the other hand, is an acoustic piece in which Shipp lays down a series of evolving harmonies. "D's Choice," moments later, takes hip-hop beats to town, along with a layer of electronic sounds and scratchy noises. And of course a number straight-up urban groove pieces dot the rest of the record."
Matthew Shipp "Equilibrium - The Blue Series" (2003)
Track listing: Equilibrium; Vamp To Vibe; Nebula Theory; Cohesion; World Of Blue Glass; Portal; The Root; The Key; Nu Matrix.
Personnel: Matthew Shipp: piano; William Parker: bass; Gerald Cleaver: drums; Khan Jamal: vibes; FLAM: synths, programming.
"In the case of "Equilibrium", Shipp treads a fine line between creative improv and creative electronic manipulation."