East Axis

Cool With That

Track Listing:

1. A Side

2. Oh Hell I Forgot About That

3. Social Distance

4. I’m Cool With That

5. One


Matthew Shipp: piano

Allen Lowe: alto and tenor sax

Gerald Cleaver: drums

Kevin Ray: bass

All compositions by Shipp/Lowe/Cleaver/Ray.

Recorded, mixed, and mastered, by Jim Clouse at Park West Studios in Brooklyn, NY, August 9, 2020.

Album design and 3D renderings by Pablo A. Medina.

Produced by East Axis and Steve Holtje.

Overview: Allen Lowe says: “To me, free improvisation is another form of narrative, just as linear in terms of the consciousness of moving from one place to another, as any kind of storytelling. Yes, anyone can do it, you might say (and this is an old argument in jazz circles) but not everyone can do it with purpose and form and like they really mean it. This group is the epitome of all that has changed for the better in jazz in the past 50 years, and I am thrilled to be in it.”

Kevin Ray says: “This band is both exhilarating and terrifying to play with. You never know where the music will go, just that it’s somewhere exciting, and you hope you can keep up. Allen has a wonderful sense of melody, Matt is an endless font of ideas, and this rhythm section is a dream to be in—Gerald is tasteful, stunningly creative, and grooves like hell. I’m so glad to be a part of it.”

Matthew Shipp says: “I am always looking for new situations to renew who I am and the language I am involved with—this group has allowed me to reboot my brain. Allen is a unique figure, who is unlike anyone I play with in any other situation. Kevin has a delicious cross section of experience over several genres that gives him a different look than a bassist who might be seen as the usual in the idiom. Gerald—who I have a history with—is different now because he has had such a deep and cross section of experiences since then. The music this group makes is unique. I really enjoy playing with these gentlemen.”

Gerald Cleaver says: “To paraphrase Miles Davis, ‘This is social music.’ My take on free jazz is that it’s not free at all, rather (in my mind) many, many contexts and frames of reference held at once. Playing this set with Matt, Allen, & Kevin took me through some really nice interactions and reaffirmed for me that the roots of this music are still strong.”

Musicians: Matthew Shipp / Allen Lowe

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