Darius Jones & Matthew Shipp – The Darkseid Recital

Darius Jones & Matthew Shipp – The Darkseid Recital

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[AUM088] CD


Darius Jones: alto saxophone
Matthew Shipp: piano

"Combining emotional intensity with technical ingenuity, channeling the big sound of each player into structures that highlight their razor sharp reflexes. The Darkseid Recital is also storytelling of visceral, uncompromising power." –Kevin Le Gendre, Jazzwise

"Large, thrilling duets of avant-garde jazz-blues. It frequently sounds like more than two people, rafting on the white water of their surging imaginations." –Britt Robson, Wondering Sound

"Jones and Shipp’s first duo release Cosmic Lieder was fresh, vibrant, and sympathetic, one of my favorite jazz releases of 2011. All those qualities are amplified on this sophomore outing. With deep experience and a shared improvisational milieu, the pair’s contrasting styles but deep commitment to exploration make this release as buoyantly expressive as it is pensive. One comes away more impressed than ever with the range and the invention of this pair." –Jason Bivens, Point of Departure

"4-Stars. There is an absolute absence of hesitation in these pieces. The sound of peers delivering their music with uncompromising sophistication, rigorous discipline, and – above all – passion." –Thom Jurek, All Music

The intergenerational partnership of alto saxophonist Darius Jones and pianist Matthew Shipp seamlessly meshes the talents of two of the most gifted and restlessly inventive instrumentalists-composers-improvisers-leaders working today. This singular duo project was first revealed in 2011 on their 13-part song cycle Cosmic Lieder, which was rightfully hailed as an original and compelling work of great emotional and intellectual heft. "It fascinates for its emotional and conceptual richness," wrote the BBC's Kevin Le Gendre. Jazziz' Jeff Jackson added, “they pack more genuine drama into three minutes than many performers could create in an entire album.” And Jason Bivens offered in Dusted, "These duo performances are truly sympathetic and move at the molecular level, making each piece wonderfully dense with information and ideas."

Since that first communion, Jones & Shipp continued to develop their distinct song world live in performance. The Darkseid Recital is the result, distilled from recordings of NYC engagements at Jazz Standard and The Stone. The songs’ approaches here range from lyrical & gentle ear blessings to liquid flows of notes designed for caress to a full-frequency of human hearing range intensity that can potentially be quite frightening. All of them are rendered with exquisite control of touch & breath on their respective instruments and a laser-sharp focused intent toward communication, resulting in an album that is suffused with the sounds of both warm embrace and a mutual cognizance of the dark energy that humanity is fraught with.


1. Celestial Fountain 02:35
2. 2,327,694,748 06:41
3. Granny Goodness 04:29
4. Gardens of Yivaroth 06:28
5. Lord of Woe 06:02
6. Life Equation 04:04
7. Sepulchre of Mandrakk 05:01
8. Divine Engine 04:09
9. Novu’s Final Gift 05:47

All compositions by Darius Jones & Matthew Shipp;
© AstonBoymusic / Matt Shipp Music (ASCAP)

Recorded in NYC 2011–2013 by Peter Cancura (1, 2);
Jimmy Katz (3, 4, 5, 9); Randy Thaler (6, 7, 8)
Mixed with & mastered by Peter Cancura
at Sound Changes Studio, Brooklyn
Produced by Steven Joerg
Cover images/design by Ming@409