All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 (or more) and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

427

Vijay Iyer: Blood Sutra

Dan McClenaghan By
Published:
Sign in to view read count
Vijay Iyer: Blood Sutra You get the feeling that piansist Vijay Iyer is shifting into a period of transition with the opening track on his new CD, Blood Sutra. "Proximity (Crossroads)" is – uncharacteristicaly for Iyer – a slow tempo bit of introspection, with a swish of brush and stickwork painting washes behind the hard-edged piano notes. But the "Brute Facts" jolts out of the speakers next, in a full frontal assault, in very Iyer-esque fashion. Propulsive, urgent, jarring even, riding a relentless rhythmic momentum, forward, always forward with Iyer.

The pianist is becoming the new standard bearer of the percussive school of playing, and he has picked some very simpatico bandmates to help him push his musical vision out there. As on his ground-breaking Panoptic Modes (Red Giant, 2001), Rudesh Mahanthappa is back blowing alto sax; and his is a rather flat, low resonance tone that compliments Iyer's ringing aggressivness. Stephan Crump is here again, too, on bass, and his sound lends a bit of fluidity and looseness to the drive; while drummer Tysheen Sorey (new to me) asserts his timekeeping chops – no small feat when playing with Iyer.

An initial listen to Blood Sutra had me thinking "no new ground broken here" since Panoptic Modes and You Life Flashes (Pi Records, 2002) by Fieldwork, an Iyer trio vehicle. But a "sit down and concentrate on the sounds" session reveals nuances and subtle shadings creeping in. "A Question of Agency" is particularly interesting with its four way interplay; and "Because of Guns/ Hey Joe Redux" resurrects – in fittingly ominous fashion – the old blues tune, done probably most famously by Jimi Hendrix on his first album.

"Stigmatism" plays as I write this, and Stephan Crump's bass seems to be trying to push Iyer's sharp notes – that the piansist drives down like tent stakes – around, with mixed, but beautiful results. And now "This Much Music" brings Cecil Taylor to mind.

Vijay Iyer evolves in fascinating fashion.

Visit Vijay Iyer at www.vijay-iyer.com .


Track Listing: Proximity (Crossroads), Brute Facts, Ascent, When History Sleeps, Questions of Agency, Kinship, Stigmatism, This Much Music, Imagined Nations, Because of Guns/Hey Joe Redux, Desiring

Personnel: Vijay Iyer--piano; Rudresh Mahanthappa--alto sax; Stephan Crump--bass; Tyshawn Sorey--drums

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Artists House | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop For Jazz

  • Lude
    Lude
    Vijay Iyer
    Accelerando
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
DVD/Video/Film Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
Read more articles
A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke
A Cosmic Rhythm With...
ECM Records
2016
buy
Break Stuff
Break Stuff
ECM Records
2015
buy
Mutations
Mutations
ECM Records
2014
buy
Holding It Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project
Holding It Down: The...
Pi Recordings
2013
buy
Accelerando
Accelerando
ACT Music
2012
buy
Tirtha
Tirtha
ACT Music
2011
buy
Chick Corea Chick Corea
piano
Dave Douglas Dave Douglas
trumpet
McCoy Tyner McCoy Tyner
piano
Andrew Hill Andrew Hill
piano
Greg Osby Greg Osby
saxophone
Fred Hersch Fred Hersch
piano
Lyle Mays Lyle Mays
keyboard

Vijay Iyer Events

Date Event Time Tickets
Sep16Fri Vijay Iyer
SCHAVER MUSIC RECITAL HALL
Detroit, MI
8:00 pm
Sep17Sat Vijay Iyer
Seligman Performing Arts Center
Beverly Hills, MI
8:00 pm
Oct21Fri Vijay Iyer Trio
McCarter Theater
Princeton, NJ
8:00 PM
$65
Mar9Wed Vijay Iyer Sextet
Sanders Theatre
Cambridge, MA
8:00 PM
$

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.