All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

40

Vijay Iyer Sextet: Far From Over

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
There are any number of valid ways to describe Vijay Iyer's music over the course of his twenty-three albums. Analytical, angular, intricate, dissonant, and oddly lyrical; his two previous ECM releases, Break Stuff (2015) and the duo outing, A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke, with Wadada Leo Smith (2016), have been more widely accessible without forsaking complexity. Not merely an academic, Iyer is a perpetual student, absorbing information and disseminating his aggregate knowledge in new and inventive ways. On Far From Over, there is an overall level of energetic enthusiasm played out in funk, swing, hard bop, and the avant-garde, all with Iyer's idiosyncratic approach and often surprising in pure elation.

Bassist Stephan Crump and the ubiquitous Tyshawn Sorey are a regular rhythm section for Iyer; Sorey occasionally trading off with Iyer's other drummer of choice, Marcus Gilmore. The sextet fills out with a stellar horn section; Graham Haynes on cornet, flugelhorn and electronics, the eclectic alto saxophonist Steve Lehman and Mark Shim on tenor saxophone add much of the punch on this album.

"Poles" opens with Iyer's delicately cascading notes before the horns explode and take over. The piece rises to a fevered pitch and then descends on Haynes beautifully rounded flugelhorn. Iyer takes a more active role on the title track where the horns again engage in thorny interplay, setting up a boisterous solo for piano. When Haynes, Lehman and Shim rejoin, the effect is dramatic. "Nope" is more abstract with short bursts of soloing in close proximity, making for an attention-grabbing interlocking of sounds that would be very much at home on a Lehman recording. The brief "End of the Tunnel" is electric, mysterious and a fine lead-in to "Down To The Wire" with Iyer's bewilderingly fast playing stitching together the late arriving horns and pulling up just short of a free-for-all. Far From Over has its more reflective moments as well, "Wake" being other-worldly and "For Amiri Baraka" and "Threnody" affecting lamentations driven by Iyer's piano.

Despite the caliber of musicians on Far From Over, this very much a group album, steeped in spontaneous improvisation. Iyer explains his methodology as looking to ..."build from the rhythm first, from the identity of the groove...." In doing so, there are often textural designs taking shape and dissolving at close intervals, making the listening experience something like watching an abstract painter work on canvas. The complexity of it all can make subsequent listening experiences seem to shift their emphasis. As always in Iyer's work, there is a lot going on and it's all intensely engaging.

Track Listing: Poles; Far from Over; Nope; End of the Tunnel; Down to the Wire; For Amiri Baraka; Into Action; Wake; Good on the Ground; Threnody.

Personnel: Vijay Iyer: piano, Fender Rhodes; Graham Haynes: cornet, flugelhorn, electronics; Steve Lehman: alto saxophone; Mark Shim: tenor saxophone; Stephan Crump: double-bass; Tyshawn Sorey: drums.

Title: Far from Over | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: ECM Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Lude

Lude

Vijay Iyer
Accelerando

Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Far from Over

Far from Over

ECM Records
2017

buy
Break Stuff

Break Stuff

ECM Records
2015

buy
Mutations

Mutations

ECM Records
2014

buy

Related Articles

Read Love + Time + Divination CD/LP/Track Review
Love + Time + Divination
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2018
Read Gleb Kolyadin CD/LP/Track Review
Gleb Kolyadin
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 22, 2018
Read NEVER DIE! by \\livingfossil// CD/LP/Track Review
NEVER DIE! by \\livingfossil//
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: February 22, 2018
Read 25th Anniversary Project CD/LP/Track Review
25th Anniversary Project
by Geannine Reid
Published: February 22, 2018
Read SuperClusters CD/LP/Track Review
SuperClusters
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Your Queen Is A Reptile CD/LP/Track Review
Your Queen Is A Reptile
by Chris May
Published: February 21, 2018
Read "La Saboteuse" CD/LP/Track Review La Saboteuse
by Chris May
Published: February 20, 2018
Read "You Already Know" CD/LP/Track Review You Already Know
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 7, 2017
Read "Flesh & Bone" CD/LP/Track Review Flesh & Bone
by Troy Collins
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "Tempe Jetz" CD/LP/Track Review Tempe Jetz
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 11, 2017
Read "20" CD/LP/Track Review 20
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 20, 2018
Read "Masters In Bordeaux" CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017