By the Law of Music

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By the Law of Music
Studio album by Matthew Shipp
Released 1997
Recorded August 5, 1996
Seltzer Sound, New York City
Genre Jazz
Length 60:46
Label HatART
Producer Art Lange
Matthew Shipp chronology
Before the World
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.

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
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[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 listing[edit]

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