Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Matthew Shipp to perform at the Loring Theater on February 4

Has the avant-garde pianist Matthew Shipp ever played in Minneapolis? Not in my memory. Only once before, in 1998 (thanks, Scott). When he makes his debut here returns on February 4, will he be at the Dakota or the Walker, the Cedar or the Artists' Quarter? No, at the house that hosted the comedy Triple Espresso...for twelve years.

Known then as the Music Box Theater, under new management since last June, now restored to its original name, the 90-year-old Loring Theater is bringing an eclectic mix of entertainment--cinema, theater, burlesque, variety acts, and music including jazz--to the Loring Park neighborhood. Last Saturday, Jan. 15, the Dave King Trucking Company played there. And here comes Matthew Shipp.

Dare we hope that that these two engagements--the inventive, Coltrane-meets-Nashville Trucking Company (who flew in Chris Speed) and the provocative, take-no-prisoners Shipp--signal a conscious effort, perhaps even a commitment, to program the edgy and exciting as opposed to the standard and safe?


According to the venue's website, Shipp will perform songs from his latest release, The Art of the Improviser, which won't even be out yet (it's due February 11). This will be a solo piano show. Because we live in an artsy town, it's up against some big guns: John Scofield at the Dakota, Kronos Quartet at the Walker, and area favorites Nathan Hanson, Brian Roessler, and Peter Leggett at the Black Dog, Atlantis Quartet at the Artists' Quarter, and the James Buckley Trio at Maude, among others. So it won't be an easy choice, but it's a choice we wouldn't have had before now.

What's next, Loring Theater? A lot of people would love to see Vijay Iyer play here. Or what about the Vijay Iyer/Craig Taborn duo that played last October at Columbia University? Or Rudresh Mahanthappa's Indo-Pak Coalition. Or the trio Fly. Or Fat Kid Wednesdays, now that the Clown is just another basement. I understand you can't be a full-time jazz venue--it seems that nobody can these days--but something fresh once a month would be awesome.

8 comments:

  1. iyer taborn would be totally tight. but i did realize that after the clown closed a sweet 'new' place became available for jazzers. a monthly fat kid gig there would be incredible.

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  2. It's a big house--it seats 440, which even the fabulous Fat Kids probably couldn't draw every month. But until they find a regular home, it would be great to see them there.

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  3. Good news. Shipp played at the Walker with the David S. Ware Quartet back in 1998, but I don't think he's been back since.

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  4. I think a monthly gig with Fat Kids hosting with other rotating groups as the first set would be a great bill. Plus, you are on the right track with Fly or Plunge from New Orleans.

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  5. And good-bye to music at Cafe Maude beginning 3/1/11.

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  6. Davu, this is a big loss to the jazz/improvising music community. I've posted about it here. http://bit.ly/ig4iDU

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  7. Shipp is a great musician, very cool.

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  8. Shipp's work is very sophisticated, I think the appropriate comparison to Miles Davis, although his work does not have the same weight as the work of Miles, his sound is always seeking something new, looking to expand.

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