Mathew Shipp, Elastic Aspects (Thirsty Ear)
The first track of the pianist’s album has no piano, just bassist Michael Bisio bowing and drummer Whit Dickey generating sepulchral sounds with mallets on cymbals. The second track is a few seconds of Shipp unaccompanied in what might be heard as late Debussy. With the third track, the trio is off and running with a kind pointillist post-bop, a suggestion of Bud Powell’s “Un Poco Loco,” lots of interaction and mutual improvisation. This being Shipp, however, a pattern has not been set. Throughout, whatever the listener may be expecting next is unlikely to be what happens—unless he is expecting surprises.