Whether through reverence, indoctrination or rote lip service, much is said about the tradition of jazz. In the impressively vast and challenging body of work of NYC-based pianist-composer Matthew Shipp, that tradition remains a crackling, sentient consciousness. The title piece from his latest trio release, "World Construct," is a live-feed experience of Shipp and regular allies, bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Newman Taylor Baker, allowing the music to rise and fall at its own accord. Following an elegiac solo-piano intro, Shipp gradually coaxes, nudges and then releases the rhythm section. Bisio and Baker then return, the trio running through manic changes, ending the performance with an emotional closer that evokes the whispered, conversational early-'60s interplay of pianist Jaki Byard and bassist Charles Mingus.
For fans of Shipp and improvisation, "World Construct" is received as a gift of intimacy and connection that provokes us and stays firmly in the mind, challenging the listener to ultimately give it purchase into one's heart and soul.