Sonic Explorations

Sonic Explorations is the debut album by American jazz pianist Matthew Shipp and alto saxophonist Rob Brown, originally issued on LP in 1988 on Cadence Jazz.

Sonic Explorations
Sonic Explorations Cover.jpeg
Studio album by
RecordedNovember 19, 1987
(tracks 7-10 February 14, 1988)
StudioEvergreen, New York
(track 7-10 Sorcerer Sound, New York)
LengthLP: 44:58
CD: 54:45
LabelCadence Jazz
ProducerMatthew Shipp, Rob Brown
Matthew Shipp chronology
Sonic Explorations
Rob Brown chronology
Sonic Explorations
Breath Rhyme

Both musicians played together for about 5 years before. "Sonic Explorations" is a suite in 6 sections (including a piano solo and a sax solo section). The duo also plays jazz standards Oleo by Sonny Rollins and Blue in Green (credited to Miles Davis on Kind of Blue, but Shipp believes that Bill Evans wrote the piece). "I love Bill Evans even though a lot of people don't connect my playing with him at all. I learned a lot from him about phrasing, harmonic possibilities of the piano", Shipp says.[1] The 2000 CD reissue adds additional takes of both standards.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [2]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz    [3]

In his review for AllMusic, Thom Jurek states "This duet by Matthew Shipp and Rob Brown from the late '80s offers a slice-of-the-pie view of Shipp's rethinking his own approach to improvisation and ensemble playing."[2] The Penguin Guide to Jazz says that "there's much detailed interplay between piano and saxophone, with Brown's beautiful tone and ripping phrasing pushing the pianist into an accompanying role at times."[3]

Track listingEdit

All compositions by Matthew Shipp except as indicated
  1. "Sonic Explorations Section 1" - 8:07
  2. "Sonic Explorations Section 2" - 4:10
  3. "Sonic Explorations Section 3" - 5:46
  4. "Sonic Explorations Section 4" - 4:08
  5. "Sonic Explorations Section 5" (Rob Brown) - 5:21
  6. "Sonic Explorations Section 6" - 9:44
  7. "Oleo" (Sonny Rollins) - 3:32
  8. "Blue in Green" (Miles Davis / Bill Evans) - 6:10
  9. "Oleo - take 2" (Sonny Rollins) - 3:37
  10. "Blue in Green - take 2" (Miles Davis / Bill Evans) - 4:10
8 & 9 does not appear on original LP



  1. ^ Original Liner Notes (interview taken and transcribed by Bob Rusch)
  2. ^ a b Jurek, Thom. Matthew Shipp – Sonic Explorations: Review at AllMusic. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD. The Penguin Guide to Jazz (9th ed.). London: Penguin. p. 1293. ISBN 0-14-103401-7.