427

Vijay Iyer: Blood Sutra

Dan McClenaghan By

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

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Harmonicus Rex" CD/LP/Track Review Harmonicus Rex
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 21, 2016
Read "Sunflower / Goodbye" CD/LP/Track Review Sunflower / Goodbye
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "The Joy of Being" CD/LP/Track Review The Joy of Being
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "Swivel" CD/LP/Track Review Swivel
by Mark Corroto
Published: October 16, 2016
Read "Roots & Transitions" CD/LP/Track Review Roots & Transitions
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 4, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!