• Matthew Shipp

New York pianist Matthew Shipp, who plays solo tonight at Elastic as part of the Umbrella Music Festival, didn’t release his first solo recording, One (Thirsty Ear), until 2006, 18 years into his career. That record signaled a shift in his music. Though he hadn’t stopped working with his most famous collaborator, titanic tenor saxophonist David S. Ware, he’d been spending an increasing amount of time experimenting with electronic musicians and hip-hop artists (DJ Spooky, Anti-Pop Consortium, Spring Heel Jack)—but One signalled the start of a shift back toward acoustic sounds. One thing that Shipp never altered, though, was the rigor of his compositions and improvisations, regardless of context.