Matthew Shipp Quartet: Pastoral Composure
A more sympathetic group has rarely existed in free jazz. Campbell's trumpet lines range from outright clear melodicism to wild pithy freedom; he's deftly supported by Parker's bass anchor and Cleaver's wide-ranging exploration of time. Meanwhile Shipp builds complex structures that evolve from simply stated solo melodies to thick and cerebral harmonic development. It's hard to praise this recording adequately: Pastoral Composure ranks as one of the most significant works in the history of free jazz. It's guaranteed to intrigue and satisfy fans approaching the work from the standpoint of swinging melodicism just as well as fans with a keener interest in creative exploration.
While the other members of Shipp's quartet have previously appeared on record, newcomer Gerald Cleaver has not. His work offers an inspiring glimpse of an emerging talent deserving of further documentation.
Track Listing: Gesture; Visions; Prelude to a Kiss; Pastoral Composure; Progression; Frere Jacques; Merge; Inner Order; XTU.
Personnel: Matthew Shipp: piano; Roy Campbell: trumpet, pocket trumpet, flugelhorn; William Parker: bass; Gerald Cleaver: drums.
Record Label: Thirsty Ear Recordings
Style: Modern Jazz