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mat walerian



new album premiered may 2017 | ESP-Disk' label


Brooklyn, NYC

espdisk.com




TOXIC | MAT WALERIAN MATTHEW SHIPP WILLIAM PARKER

"This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People"

ESP 5011




with :

Mat Walerian | saxophone + woodwinds
Matthew Shipp | piano + keys
William Parker | double bass + shakuhachi





from liner notes by Steve Dalachinsky :

"on this, Walerian’s third CD for ESP (his first being in duo with Matthew Shipp as THE UPPERCUT on the album Live at Okuden, his second, the trio JUNGLE with Shipp and Hamid Drake, also called Live at Okuden) we have Mat and Matt joined by another master, the incomparable bassist/composer William Parker.

in what is termed an annotation on that first CD, Parker describes the duo as “EXQUISITE…lovely…relaxed…uncompromised beauty…” where “you can hear sound and space disrobe,” and Parker himself can fit the very embodiment of those words, his voice on this project giving rise to a possibly even greater beauty.

TOXIC: / poisonous - a strange name for a project of intense bluesy tensely relaxed, melodious spontaneous compositions with an album title like "This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People" > not unlike THE UPPERCUT – a term used in boxing where one thinks of a violent blow to the chin to lay out one’s opponent / in both cases we get the opposite effects from the music (though at times a bit of both. every now and then experiencing a sudden punch or an overdose of third rail danger to the nervous system: like a snake bite) > we feel certainty and infectious nuances that get under one’s skin but rather than promote toxicity they promote healing … it is as humble as it is contagious and continues where the other CDs leave off… adding vital new textures > embracing expanding corrupting space and distance stretching the hours of the day and creating what may become a lasting testimony to the fleeting momentary often imaginary archive known as SOUND > free unfettered SOUND > proof that we/they/ the muse / the music is still very much ALIVE > like reaching and breaching the future / spatial aspects and open invitations to a frighteningly strange and isolated scenario / the flesh of borders penetrated / the inner and outer perimeters of the mind/body pierced with a mellow yet tipsy logic / quiet convulsions and sudden small yet contained outbursts / masks ripped off and layers stripped away yet barely noticed as new beginnings culminate in a new politic / soft/hard dissolves > cloud into landscape > landscape into cloud > fog/smog / intoxication / palpitations / “reaching the FAR-OUT” / shapeless shapes and uncanny momentums / EXPANDABLE / avenging the loss of creative MUSIC … hot cold sparks > mysterious yet fathomable / existence of time both inner and outer obsessive possessive what they are and are not > underground toward new heights > “a dictionary of measurements” / crossing bridges to view the “OTHER” > the other side of the “ONE” / concretizing / polishing like unfinished marble / or loosing one’s marbles / the nooks and crannies of the cranium / all distances one distance / a “concentrated group trance” / investigation / instigation / interrogation / unveiling / enveloping / mirroring / burning liberties released from their CELLS > selves > turning returning and altering phrases / realities > Parker adding to and shifting the color spectrum / Walerian blowing the winds every which way between alto and bass clarinet / Shipp leaving the pianissimo briefly to (for the first time on record) sit at the organ to seek its dark rich advice through his fingers / inner wealth vs. outer wealth / A DNA LAB > a receiving center filled with diverse dispersals / almost slow motion reveries from Parker as Shipp enters > then the clarinet bringing a slow moody foxtrot / choppy yet compassionate voices filled with passion always filled with passion / immersive duo between Parker and Shipp like old times revisited (intense structuring)

Walerian picking up the alto without even a breath between instruments as if the magic just appeared from the magician’s wand / strong lyrical passages and though Walerian claims later he didn’t realize he was entering deeply into the blues i can only say that the blues certainly entered deeply into him like the intense blue of the vast Brooklyn sky where this session was recorded / flute / shakuhachi / lunchtime reveries / homages to histories / the core / heart of intense creativity to the point of creativity nearly surpassing itself … improbabilities and contrasted elements / juxtapositions and a covert dance between unlikely alikes / three mighty wills totally in tune with each other / a sound field of personalities unique and unified / confidently transcending the boundaries of the studio dismantling the walls /building a new CHURCH a rich new system of ideas / surreal / grotesque / tentative yet affirmative / funky little melody lines and a line of blips… disjointed / disturbing in a tender sort of way / the familiar becoming unconventional symbolic representations of memory that merge with then melt thru the walls of Park West Studio as the art of thinking, reasoning and listening carry on as they get carried away > suffice it to say this session is indeed beautiful because all its participants are beautiful people > but it takes much more than beauty to create great art / to create beauty > it takes VISION, IMAGINATION, WILL, COMMITMENT, PATIENCE, EXPERIENCE and “ACCIDENT.” this trio has all that and more."

dalachinsky brooklyn ny 2015






coming 2018 | ESP-Disk' label


Brooklyn, NYC

espdisk.com




MATTHEW SHIPP QUARTET featuring Mat Walerian

"Sonic Fiction"

ESP 5018




with :

Matthew Shipp | piano
Mat Walerian | saxophone + woodwinds
Michael Bisio | double bass
Whit Dickey | drums





from liner notes by Michael Bisio :

Sonic Fiction : My first thought was BEST TITLE EVA’ !!! Sheer genius ! This has to be a great recording … it is.

Can’t wait for the cover art.

Science fiction always transported me, it required me to take part, a journey, an alternate reality, a peek into the future, the what if’s … it has come to pass, many elements of modern life have their roots in this fiction. We are what we think.

Needing to know how others defined science fiction I decided to consult the oracle. Many of the definitions included words I would use, science, future, space, technology, different dimension and universe, a few even used “human element” … great ! Finally I came across the writings of Chris McKitterick from The Gunn Center for the study of science fiction, my work was done.

Most of the remainder of these notes will transpose science fiction to Sonic Fiction, a few other ripples in the fabric of space and time might occur.


Sonic Fiction is the music of the human species encountering change.

Sonic Fiction is the music of ideas and philosophy.

Sonic Fiction is a community of thinkers and creatives.

Sonic Fiction provides an approach to understanding the universe.

Sonic Fiction is the music of the Other


I’d like to thank Matthew, Mat, and Whit for the beautiful realization of these ideals and thank you Mr. McKitterick for composing your thoughts so eloquently. If you eva’ read these know there is a copy of Sonic Fiction waiting for you out there.

There is no future without a past but reality is only now. Listen.
Beam me up Scotty, Never Let Me Go

Michael Bisio, bassist from the deck of the Enterprise, August 2016