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Cleaver, Ray, Robinson & Shipp: No Subject

Cleaver, Ray, Robinson & Shipp: No Subject

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East Axis Is like the cumulative life experience of its members. East Axis is four men (Scott Robinson, Matthew Shipp, Kevin Ray, Gerald Cleaver), of different styles and backgrounds, coming together to spontaneously make music that sounds like each of them, all of them, and none of them. The music is like a dream of many scenes, but one observed with precision and the deepest type of understanding. The sound of it is a running commentary on the intersection of experience and that dream; a map of places that these musicians are still trying to explore. Their sophomore album, No Subject, is being released via Mack Avenue Music Group/Brother Mister Productions.

REVIEW:

As multi-reedist Scott Robinson takes the horn chair from Allen Lowe, all is delivered and then some on No Subject, the second, reason-defying release from chameleonic improvisers pianist Matthew Shipp, bassist Kevin Ray, and drummer Gerald Cleaver.

After the clangorous beauty of Cool With That, and each man's independent penchant for rancorous give and take, it may come as a surprise to many that these guys can speed-shift from near melodic collapse ("Decisions Have Been Made," "Metal Sounds," "Excuse My Absence") to a casual late night blue dance ("Sometime Tomorrow") or soft shoe swing ("I Like It Very Much") wherein Shipp, Cleaver, and Ray range from mad to mellow so innately as to possibly inspire a smooth two step across the dance floor.

The twelve adventurous episodes take on all shapes and logics with a brazen adherence to themes which are fertile with anticipation and continuity. This is how freedom plays.

-- AllAboutJazz.com (Mike Jurkovic)

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    • UPC/Barcode: 673203400320
    • Item Number: BRO4003