Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Blue Series Continuum

  • GoodandEvil Sessions [Thirsty Ear, 2003] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

GoodandEvil Sessions [Thirsty Ear, 2003]
Jazz musicians so often try and fail to modernize their rhythms that I wondered what the secret of the latest Matthew Shipp-William Parker collaboration might be. Clever devils--no drummer. All beats electronic, generated by Brooklyn production duo Danny Blume and Chris Kelly, who relax into cunning patterns that leave room for Parker to bend his bass toward an equivalent of the reassuring body groove that jazz folk associate with swing. Only this groove doesn't swing--it's more like techno that realized acid jazz was garbage and went back home to mama. Shipp riffs, hooks, and decorates, leaving theme and cognitively dissonant variation to name trumpeter Roy Campbell and two trombonists, who have most of the fun. Not deep, not intense. But for atmosphere, it hangs on there, and it keeps growing on you. A-