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Matthew Shipp Equilibrium

Pianist Matthew Shipp began his exploration of avant-garde jazz fused with electronic funk on last year's Nu Bop, and on Equilibrium, he finds a perfect balancing point between his jagged jazz and blasting hip-hop beats. The talented players behind Shipp spin off in every direction on "Vamp to Vibe" while he holds it down with a smashing left-hand figure. It takes until "Cohesion," four tracks in, for Shipp to tear the roof off, but when he does, it's in fine style. That uptempo burner showcases Shipp's ability to wring effects from his keys with the resourcefulness of a turntablist-twice in the track he pounds the same chord repeatedly, amping the effect up like a stuttering beat. Shipp and his quartet play with compelling energy and vibe, uniting jazz and hip-hop with rare fire.

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