Live at Okuden (Jungle : Mat Walerian Matthew Shipp Hamid Drake album)

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Live at Okuden
Live album by
ReleasedApril 2016
RecordedNovember 19, 2012
Okuden Music, Torun
ProducerSteve Holtje

Live at Okuden is a double album by avant-garde jazz trio "Jungle : Mat Walerian Matthew Shipp Hamid Drake" featuring alto saxophonist Mat Walerian, pianist Matthew Shipp and drummer Hamid Drake, which was recorded live in 2012 at the Okuden Music concert series and released in 2016 on the New York City, Brooklyn based avant-garde record label ESP-Disk'.[1]

Liner notes by William Parker[edit]

"I first encountered the ESP record label in 1968 when I was looking through record bins at the Sam Goody record shop on Eighth Avenue in midtown Manhattan, NY. There were bins with all these records labels displayed (Impulse, Blue Note, Verve, Atlantic, Riverside, Prestige). There was one bin labeled ESP DISK that was filled with these LPs with liner notes and information on the back cover. On the front cover were these beautiful black-and-white photos of musicians with names like Noah Howard, Charles Tyler, Albert Ayler, Lowell Davidson, Frank Wright, Marion Brown, Sunny Murray, Sonny Simmons, Milford Graves, Karl Berger, Henry Grimes. The entire premise was intriguing and poetic laced with a large dash of mystery. Not in the who done it style but in the what’s up with these brothers style. Who were these musicians? Were they the black panthers in disguise? Was this the new spiritualism; was it the Avant Garde sound that influenced Coltrane?

Most of these records cost about eighty-eight cents with the ESP compilation samplers going for thirty-nine cents. I slowly began to buy these books of sound whenever I could until I owned the entire catalogue. The music was revolutionary and served as a soundtrack for my life while I was living in the Claremont housing projects in the Bronx. ESP lived up its slogan “you never heard such sounds in your life.” Throughout the subsequent years the ESP catalogue resurfaced in Germany, Italy, and Japan, spreading the message of the new music. On April 20, 2015 the founder of ESP-Disk', Bernard Stollman, died of cancer. The label did not die: it goes on due to the foresight of writer-producer Steve Holtje, who continues running the label for the Stollman family just as he had for Bernard, overseeing the reissue of previous released recordings and the production of new music.

One such release is this recording by Mat Walerian, Matthew Shipp, and Hamid Drake. The music does not need these words to exist, it only needs your ears. It is my suggestion to listen and listen again and again. Until the experience of the music begins to resonate inside you, until it begins to echo the name of truth or paint images. Or it shows you a vision for the future that goes way beyond forms and solos. I was told once that a master musician is not a musician who knows everything about music, like preordained harmonies, rhythms, or melodies. Nor is it someone who knows all the tunes in the fake book, keeping in mind there is reason why it is called the fake book, with the emphasis on fake. The informed musician knows enough to let music be music on its own terms.

Repetition is never in the stars. It is about becoming a part of creation rather than trying to be creative. Improvisational music is a day-to-day, second-by-second experience that reboots itself at each silence. The flame continues to burn, but it is different: it now rests in a temple called Self sound, a phrase coined by the writer Ted Joans . This music is being materialized as one self through three musicians. The music speaks for itself; always has, always will. What I can point out is that a different sensibility is brewing, shorter glimpses of light that appears, begins to dance, and leaves. The music reshapes itself constantly, like all things that come through human beings through nature, like birth, rebirth but never death, these are real changes that answer the call, giving us what is needed in the moment.

Stepping into the Silence, this is literary music, epic little bouts of brilliance. That expands and stretches across what you might call instant reality, the lining or other side of the cosmic blanket where ordinary yet extraordinary people live; it swings and is balanced, it knows where to stop and begin again. It Bees and it Bops, it is and isn’t at the same time, but the main thing is they don’t scream - not that the scream and the shout are bad. It’s that you have to play inside your destiny rather than a musical style. It’s all about playing free instead of asking others for freedom, so I celebrate Drake, Shipp, and Walerian for choosing life over music. Choosing intuition over tradition." - William Parker[2]

Track listing[edit]

CD 1
  1. "Shrine" (Mat Walerian) - 3:58
  2. "Teleport" (Mat Walerian) - 5:37
  3. "Gentle Giants" (Mat Walerian) - 4:56
  4. "123 Sylvester 230 CE" (Mat Walerian)
  5. "Ultimate Insurance" (Matthew Shipp, Hamid Drake) - 8:03
  6. "Good Trip Is a Safe Trip" (Mat Walerian) - 6:19
  7. "Perfect Joint" (Mat Walerian, Matthew Shipp) - 8:30
  8. "Watch Your Path" (Mat Walerian, Matthew Shipp, Hamid Drake) 5:37
CD 2
  1. "Gate" (Mat Walerian) - 9:45
  2. "One for" (Traditional) - 11:12
  3. "Coach on da Mic" (Mat Walerian, Matthew Shipp, Hamid Drake) - 18:25
  4. "Tiger" (Mat Walerian) - 4:19
  5. "Sit Back, Relax and Watch" (Mat Walerian) - 4:57



  1. ^ ESP-Disk' record label catalogue
  2. ^ Jungle Mat Walerian Matthew Shipp Hamid Drake "Live at Okuden" liner notes by William Parker