Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

24

Vijay Iyer Sextet: Far From Over

Mark Sullivan By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist/composer Vijay Iyer has employed different instrumental forces for each of his ECM albums. Most recently, A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke (2016) was a duet with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, while Break Stuff (2015) featured his long standing trio with bassist Stephan Crump and drummer Marcus Gilmore. For his fifth ECM date as a leader he has expanded to a sextet. The rhythm section includes Crump and drummer Tyshawn Sorey, who has long subbed for Gilmore in the trio, as well as working with Iyer on other projects. The three horn players—Graham Haynes (cornet, flugelhorn and electronics), Steve Lehman (alto saxophone), and Mark Shim (tenor saxophone)—are among Iyer's favorite musicians.

The larger line-up gives Iyer a broad palette of ensemble textures and timbres to work with. "Poles" begins the set with a bit of a tease: an unaccompanied piano introduction. The rest of the trio joins in, then finally the horns. Their jerky rhythm breaks apart into overlapping lines, then back together—followed by Shim's tenor solo. Iyer switches to Rhodes electric piano for Haynes' flugelhorn solo (recalling trumpeter Miles Davis' fusion period), and the piece winds down in that mode. It's almost a microcosm of the stylistic and timbral range of the entire album.

The title tune features all three horns trading short solos before coming together for an exuberant collective conversation, setting up the leader's solo. After doing some riffing behind the piano, the horns execute what sounds like an elaborate composed passage, eventually going out on the theme. Once again a rich blend of individual and collective playing. "Nope" changes things up again with its deliberate funk. Iyer switches from Rhodes to acoustic piano for his angular solo, which made me think about how pianist Thelonious Monk might have played funk.

Haynes' electronics are heavily featured on two tracks: "End Of The Tunnel" and "Wake," both of them atmospheric contrasts with the denser, more active sound of the sextet tracks. "For Amiri Baraka" is another contrast, a contemplative portrait for the trio only. "Down To The Wire" is also a trio track for most of the first half: but then the horns solo, followed by the drums, finally coming together at the end. The driving rhythm of "Good On The Ground" makes it sound like the album closer (it also features a second drum solo). But it ends on an elegiac note with "Threnody," this time with the horns in full cry.

Far From Over is a splendid showcase for Iyer as pianist and composer, and there is plenty of space for the other sextet members to shine as well. A fine addition to his discography, and an excellent place for new listeners to start.

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

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Mar10Sun
Vijay Iyer, Piano And Matt Haimovitz, Cello
Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts
Davis, CA
$35
Mar12Tue
Vijay Iyer And Craig Taborn: The Transitory Poems
Roulette
Brooklyn, NY
$18
Mar14Thu
CHARLES TOLLIVER PAPER MAN
Blue Note New York
New York, NY
$20.00
Mar14Thu
CHARLES TOLLIVER PAPER MAN
Blue Note New York
New York, NY
$20.00
Mar15Fri
CHARLES TOLLIVER PAPER MAN
Blue Note New York
New York, NY
$20.00
Mar15Fri
CHARLES TOLLIVER PAPER MAN
Blue Note New York
New York, NY
$20.00
Mar16Sat
CHARLES TOLLIVER PAPER MAN
Blue Note New York
New York, NY
$20.00

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Barriers Album Reviews
Barriers
By Karl Ackermann
February 16, 2019
Read Fractal Guitar Album Reviews
Fractal Guitar
By John Kelman
February 16, 2019
Read The Early Bird Gets Album Reviews
The Early Bird Gets
By Mark Corroto
February 16, 2019
Read The Newest Sound You Never Heard Album Reviews
The Newest Sound You Never Heard
By Jerome Wilson
February 16, 2019
Read Think Big: Like Me Album Reviews
Think Big: Like Me
By Paul Naser
February 16, 2019
Read Melodic Ornette Coleman: Piano Works XIII Album Reviews
Melodic Ornette Coleman: Piano Works XIII
By Karl Ackermann
February 15, 2019
Read Free Fall Album Reviews
Free Fall
By Peter Hoetjes
February 15, 2019