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DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Vijay Iyer/Prashant Bhargava: Radhe Radhe, Rites of Holi

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Vijay Iyer/Prashant Bhargava Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi ECM 2014 Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi is a sumptuous visual and sonic collaboration between Vijay Iyer and film maker Prashant Bhargava. It was commissioned by Emil Kang, Executive Director of the Carolina Performing Arts as part of a wider series of works to celebrate the centenary of Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring (1913), which in its day, with its avant-garde orchestration, ballet and elaborate stage design was something of a multi-media show-stopper itself. Though Bhargava based his visual narrative on the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Trio 3 + Vijay Iyer: Wiring

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It really should be Trio 4 by now! For their previous four albums the threesome has added a pianist to the ranks, first Geri Allen, then Irene Schweizer, then Allen again, and lastly Jason Moran. Now on Wiring Vijay Iyer takes over the piano stool. You could argue that with their credentials saxophonist Oliver Lake (World Saxophone Quartet), bassist Reggie Workman (John Coltrane) and drummer Andrew Cyrille (Cecil Taylor) don't need assistance from anyone. But each guest subtly changes the dynamic, and Iyer's presence reboots the pointer on the inside/outside spectrum marginally towards the tradition.As ever the writing ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Vijay Iyer: Mutations

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There are times when it's possible to chart an artist's success through his association with record labels. Vijay Iyer--who, over the past 20 years, has built a reputation for genre-defying, forward-reaching music--spent the early part of his career on independent US labels including the highly regarded Pi Recordings, Savoy Jazz and Sunnyside Records. But it was with his move to Germany's ACT Music label and a series of trio and solo recordings, including the Grammy-nominated Historicity (2009), that the pianist began to garner even more attention. Still, as good as his four ACT recordings were, looking at the label's overall ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Vijay Iyer Solo at San Francisco Performances

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Vijay Iyer San Francisco Performances San Francisco, CA November 16, 2013 Polymath, pianist, arranger, composer, Grammy nominee, creative program director, a doctorate holder, the recipient of a 2013 MacArthur “genius" fellowship, the recipient of a groundbreaking “quintuple crown" in the 2012 Down Beat International Critics Poll, as well as a “quadruple crown" in the JazzTimes extended critics poll. Soon to be a Harvard Professor. Declared Pianist of the Year for both 2012 and 2013 by the Jazz Journalists Association. Winner of the 2013 ECHO Award (the “German Grammy") for best international pianist. Who ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Vijay Iyer / Mike ladd: Holding It Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project

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It's been nearly 70 years since the film The Best Years Of Our Lives won seven Academy Awards, including one for Best Picture (1946). The story revolved around three returning WWII veterans and their difficulties adjusting to civilian life. While those veterans came back to the economic powerhouse that was the United States, today's returning soldiers from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars find a country with the same meager prospects that perhaps drove them to enlist in the first place. Although the government has done it's best to shield civilians from seeing coffins returning or video of the ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Jazz on a Summer's Day 2013

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Jazz on a Summer's DayKrefeld, GermanyJuly 13, 2013 The setting was historic, on the grounds of a 12th century castle. The program tilted toward tomorrow, with an ear for the future. That picturesque, present day progression made the 29th Jazz on a Summer's Day a timeless musical present for devoted fans in this charming, well-represented burg of boppers. The site was a gift for the eyes, and well-aligned for featured performer Vijay Iyer and his doctoral views regarding the aesthetics of sensory transfer. It isn't often that a stroll at ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Vijay Iyer Trio: Accelerando

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On the surface, Accelerando follows the same basic format as Historicity (ACT Music, 2009), the debut of pianist Vijay Iyer's working trio with bassist Stephan Crump and drummer Marcus Gilmore. Though once again divided between Iyer's complex originals and some surprising covers, this eclectic sophomore session attains an even greater sense of cohesion than its predecessor, courtesy of a common aesthetic denominator. As Iyer states in the liner notes “This album is in the lineage of American creative music based on dance rhythms." From the rhapsodic crescendos of the pianist's “Optimism" to a phantasmagoric deconstruction of Michael Jackson's “Human Nature," ...



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