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  • Ron Steeds wrote on August 02, 2006 report

    I found Mr. Kelman's review of the show to be quite accurate though I feel compelled to take issue with a few of his facts:

    1. Drummer Tyshawn Sorey has often played with the Vijay Iyer Quartet and, in fact, was the drummer on Iyer's second to last quartet recording, BLOOD SUTRA. Sorey has been Iyer's go-to drummer when ever gigs have come up (and Sorey is not busy with his own projects).

    2. Like most of the young artists who are leading the way in improvised music today, Vijay Iyer grew up listening to the popular music of the 60's to the present. While the lion share of the music he records and performs is his own compositions, he does give a nod from time to time to the music that has influenced him. Brad Mehldau has done it, the Bad Plus has done it, Dave Douglas has done it: interpreted pop standards that come from Rock music. Iyer has recorded his interpretation of John Lennon's "Imagine" and the Billy Roberts tune "Hey Joe" made famour by Jimi Hendrix among others - both must surely be considered standards in 2006.

    3. Vijay Iyer & Rudresh Mahanthappa's newest recording RAW MATERIALS is not as subdued an affair as Mr. Kelman has suggested. Like any recording by these fine musicians, there is a staggering array of intensity which flows throughout the work. Tracks such as "Forgotten System", "Fly Higher" and "Rataplan" are intense listening experiences because of their power and the pace at which they're played, and while there isn't a drummer or a bass player on the record the listener doesn't miss them.

    Sincerely,
    Ron Steeds,
    Improvised Music Collective