CD Blue Series Continuum: Sorcerer Sessions (CD 983550),
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Blue Series Continuum: Sorcerer Sessions

  • 1. Pulsar
    2. Key Stroke
    3. Lightforms
    4. Urban Shadows
    5. x6
    6. Fixed Point
    7. Invisible Steps
    8. Particle
    9. Reformation
    10. Modulate
    11. Last Chamber
    12. Mist
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 57141

  • Credits
    ProducerFLAM; Matthew Shipp

    The Blue Series Continuum: Evan Ziporyn (clarinet, bass clarinet); Daniel Bernard Roumain (violin); Matthew Shipp (piano, synthesizer); FLAM (synthesizer, programming); William Parker (bass); Gerald Cleaver (drums).
    Recorded at Sorcerer Sound, New York, New York.
    Personnel: Daniel Bernard Roumain (violin); Evan Ziporyn (clarinet, bass clarinet); Matthew Shipp (piano, synthesizer); Flam (synthesizer, programming); Gerald Cleaver (drums).
    Recording information: Sorcerer SOund, New York, NY.
    Photographer: Cynthia Fetty.
    Upon encountering the opening moments of "Pulsar, " the opening cut from Sorcerer Sessions, the listener may feel as if she had purchased the wrong recording. Pianist Matthew Shipp's pronounced chord voicings sound as if they might be lost compositions from Erik Satie's "Rosicrucian" series. When clarinetist Evan Ziporyn and violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain enter in a gorgeously entwining series of harmonies and slippery, nearly Hungarian-styled melodic statements, the illusion will seem convincingly complete. Only upon the typing sounds of "Keystroke" countered by electronically manipulated clarinet and piano lines does the feel of the sonic encounter feel like the music of Matthew Shipp. Add to this set bassist William Parker, drummer Gerald Cleaver, and electronica whiz FLAM, and you have a new collective, one not so much interested in the jazz-conversant compositions of Shipp's Equilibrium album, but a collective turning Shipp's compositions into extrapolations of form, content, and Muse-like utterances. As the album continues, through "Light forms," "Urban Shadows," "reformation," "Last Chamber," and other selections, it becomes clear that this is no mere fusion of classical ,jazz, and electronic aesthetics, but a new ethereal body of music that exists outside genre, and attempts to exist outside time and space. Indeed, while it references a past that has indeed passed into ghostly revisionist memory, it also references not so much a future, but an eternally shape-shifting present that cancels out the need for a future simply because everything that is possible or that can be dreamed of musically, can also be -- and is -- written, executed, and performed. Structural content has been Shipp's muse for a while now, since 1996's By The Law Of Music, where he first collaborated and wrote for a string trio's accompaniment. For those who were put off by Nu Bop or New Orbit, this might come as a pleasant surprise; for those who have followed Shipp's career this collaborative effort -- this music -- could not have been executed in this manner without this particular group of musicians seeking to forge -- from the composer's music -- an entirely new evolutionary sound that exists not only outside genre, but reconsiders the time and space continuum as inclusionary, inseparable, and limitless. The Blue Series Continuum has given us a recording worth considering for years to come. Along with David S. Ware's Threads, the Thirsty Ear label has given us, in 2003, two recordings that marry composition to improvisation in new ways, with new dictates and concerns. They are a pair of the most profound albums to come out of the jazz idiom in a very long time. This is aural dynamite and will challenge your accepted notions about not only jazz and classical music, but about the role of music in your life. ~ Thom Jurek

  • Critic Reviews
    CMJ (11/3/03, p.27) - "...The combination of the austere source material, found sounds, ambient recordings, and Flam's post-production work...brings the album into the realm of modern classical avant-garde...the Continuum's most groundbreaking recording yet."
    JazzTimes (3/04, p.77) - "THE SORCERER SESSIONS prove that, when wizards like Matthew Shipp are willing to bust even this genre's boundaries, the combination can still make new and unexpected magic."
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