ANTIPOP Consortium VS. MATTHEW SHIPP (Thirsty Ear) Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Typically, when artists attempt to blend hiphop and jazz styles, it's straightforward: MCs lift jazz loops or, in the case of A Tribe Called Quest, jam with Ron Carter on the odd track. Antipop vs Matthew Shipp isn't another Jazzmatazz, though. The latest in Shipp's attempts to move improvisational jazz from the Lower East Side into the clubs, the disc finds the pianist sparring with angular New York MCs Antipop Consortium, and the result is more successful than it sounds on paper. Both groups have an open-ended feel and they're able to stop and shift on a dime. And Shipp's self-described "free hop" is built around this freedom. Sadly, though, for all their underground cred with Radiohead fans, Antipop's MCs can't really rhyme. The disc is a daring experiment, but it would be more interesting to see Shipp spar with an MC who can flow.