This is Polish multi-instrumentalist Mat Walerian’s third CD, all for ESP and all with Matthew Shipp. Walerian’s first album [ESP5007] was the last new release approved by ESP-Disk' founder Bernard Stollman. This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People is also William Parker's first time back in the studio for ESP since his first released appearance on record in 1973, Frank Lowe's Black Beings [ESP3013] (an album of outtakes from the same session was released in 2011, The Loweski [ESP4066]). TIBBWABP is also noteworthy for containing a rare Shipp performance on organ.
Shipp says of Walerian, "Mat approaches his instruments in a non-traditional way. He is a conceptualist and has a different personality on each instrument."
Mat Walerian: alto saxophone, bass clarinet, soprano clarinet, flute; Matthew Shipp: piano, organ; William Parker: double bass, shakuhachi. Recorded December 15, 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.
released May 5, 2017
The Toxic trio is another revelation. The material was recorded in Brooklyn in December 2015. … The first piece is very peaceful flute and shakuhachi duo of Parker and Walerian with a discrete accompaniment on prepared piano and finger picked bass later – the tune has an Asian/Japanese spirit, so characteristic of [Walerian]. The second piece is started by William bowing, who is joined by the piano. After couple of minutes Mat enters on alto and plays very expressively.... The third piece starts also with bowing part, and at is even more melancholic and peaceful than the previous one; Matt's parts and solo on piano are here truly outstanding. The fourth piece begins with finger picked solo of Parker, who is joined after 3 minutes by the piano and the clarinet. The closing fifth piece is my favorite: it is first of all Mat’s and Matt’s show on bass clarinet and organ, joined later by Parker. Mat turns to alto again in the second part of the track, while Matt to piano.... For me this is another amazing artistic achievement. - Maciej Lewenstein, Polish Jazz Recordings and Beyond
Heralded pianist Matthew Shipp and Polish multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Mat Walerian team up for their third recording as a core unit, this time with legendary bassist William Parker. As to be expected, their sounds take a significant shift in tone from previous offerings. “Lesson” opens with a sparse soundscape recalling Sun Ra’s more stripped-down work, a reference that continues throughout the sessions. The pair of twenty-minute sessions dubbed “The Breakfast Club,” however push things even further into ‘60s territory as Shipp explores his classical leanings with Cecil Taylor’s hands, Walerian teeters between Ornette Coleman experimentalism and John Coltrane beauty and Parker plays with the intuition, finesse and innovation that has always marked his work. It’s all the magic you’d expect from such a powerful trio. - Chuck Foster, upcoming issue of The Big Takeover