By the Law of Music

By the Law of Music is an album by American jazz pianist Matthew Shipp which was recorded in 1996 and released on the Swiss HatART label. It was re-released on the hatOLOGY imprint in 2002.

By the Law of Music
By the Law of Music Cover.jpeg
Studio album by
RecordedAugust 5, 1996
StudioSeltzer Sound, New York City
ProducerArt Lange
Matthew Shipp chronology
Before the World
By the Law of Music

The record marks the debut of his String Trio with violinist Mat Maneri and bassist William Parker. On all other previous recordings Maneri played electric violin, but in this session used exclusively acoustic violin. The album was conceived as a twelve-part suite, but Shipp decided to record Duke Ellington's "Solitude" as a final touch after the suite.[1]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [2]

In his review for AllMusic, Steve Loewy states "As with almost any artistic invention, the music can be heard on a variety of levels: as chamber jazz, it has a beauty that rewards even the casual listener, while the sophisticated interrelationships give it a great depth and even charm."[2] The JazzTimes review by Josef Woodard says that "The album closes disarmingly, with an anarchic reading of Duke Ellington's 'Solitude', in which the pianist lays down the recognizable form of the tune, while the others dance in atonal abandon."[3]

Track listingEdit

All compositions by Matthew Shipp except as indicated
  1. "Signal" – 0:17
  2. "By the Law of Music" – 2:51
  3. "Implicit" – 6:58
  4. "Fair Play" – 5:00
  5. "Grid" – 6:45
  6. "Whole Movement" – 3:05
  7. "Game of Control" – 7:56
  8. "Point to Point" – 4:21
  9. "P X" – 3:28
  10. "Grid" – 5:36
  11. "Coo" – 5:05
  12. "X Z U" – 4:31
  13. "Solitude" (Duke Ellington) – 4:53



  1. ^ Original Liner Notes by Ben Ratliff
  2. ^ a b Loewy, Steve. Matthew Shipp – By the Law of Music: Review at AllMusic. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  3. ^ By the Law of Music review by Josef Woodard at JazzTimes