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November 24, 2009

Free Jazz

By a series of links starting at Metafilter and ending at A Blog Supreme (nice Coltrane reference there, Whitebread), I found myself considering Jazz beyond Bebop and Hard Bop. Now granted, I've already dipped my toes into the cold, cold water, listening to the British composer/musician Graham Collier (and liking it), and Dutch artist Hank Bennink, not to mention Warne Marsh. But the vast majority of my collection is centered around various kinds of Bop.

So I read on Metafilter about an article to be found on A Blog Supreme called Jazz Now, recommending 'modern' jazz starter albums. I started grazing, listening to the sample compositions included in the articles, and ended up finding something I found interesting, which had the salutory trait of being available on eMusic.

So I picked up Nu Bop, by Matthew Shipp. I've been listening to it on and off for several days and am ready to give an overly broad opinion: I like it. The opening tune, Space Shipp somehow reminds me of Herbie Hancock, during his experimental breakout period, though it is unique to Shipp. The second tune, Nu-Bop, makes me think that Shipp was listening to a lot of Amon Tobin when he composed it. This is a good thing.

So in short, I like it, but am still learning the contours of the album. I'm not sure I will like everything on it, but it was a worthwhile experiment. I'll be digging into the other entries on A Blog Supreme in hopes of finding other stretching exercises which are available on eMusic (and hence not so painful an expense for pure experimentation -- though even eMusic has become more risky with the recent price hikes).

Posted by dpwakefield at November 24, 2009 08:56 PM

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