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Jazz Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Vijay Iyer & Wadada Leo Smith: A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke

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In the liner notes for A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke, pianist Vijay Iyer notes that he and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith would often become a sub-segment of the quartet in which the two played. Following their collaboration in New York City in 2015, ECM chief Manfred Eicher brought the two master artists together to make their unique chemistry a matter of record. At its core, the album is a suite dedicated to the late, influential Indian artist Nasreen Mohamedi ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Vijay Iyer & Wadada Leo Smith: A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke

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The expansion of the mind, or better yet, consciousness, can come from multiple approaches. Prayer, physical activity, hallucinogenic substances, and mathematics are but a few routes. All seem to distillate to one essence, that is quiet, the emptiness of silence. For prayer or meditation, the quiet is obvious. But also, great scientists and athletes tell us in the vacuum of space, problems are solved, and the game winning jump-shot is made in an almost slow-motion stillness. That same ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Vijay Iyer Trio: Break Stuff

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Intrepid pianist and composer Vijay Iyer's Break Stuff is an intimate work brimming with an intense poetry and a subtly dramatic ambience. The latter results from the complementary and contrasting elements, which are intricately interwoven within each of the dozen tracks that comprise the album. On the exquisite “Mystery Woman," for instance, Iyer plays percussive chords with one hand and haunting, lilting cascade of notes with the other building a sublime harmonic balance. The serene atmosphere that follows ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Vijay Iyer Trio: Break Stuff

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From the time of his debut as a leader nearly twenty years ago on Architextures (Asian Improv Records, 1996), pianist and composer Vijay Iyer has been a great experimenter. The Albany, New York native successfully utilized duplicated patterns and phrasing in a variety of settings from solo piano to ensembles. Advanced as his earlier techniques were, Iyer has continued to move forward and challenge himself, incorporating and manipulating decades of learning as his career progresses. At a given time his ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Vijay Iyer Trio: Break Stuff

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When it comes to jazz/improvised music, there are those who, like pianist Keith Jarrett, prefer to approach it with a blank slate, clearing their minds of everything in order to find a way to pull form from the ether. Then there are those who spend considerable time formulating their approach, and coming up with a philosophy, an aesthetic, to apply to the music they make. While he's far from the only musician to take the latter approach, few are as ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Vijay Iyer Trio at Brooks Center for the Performing Arts

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Vijay Iyer Trio Brooks Center for the Peforming Arts Utsey Chamber Music Series Clemson, SC 1/15/2015 The Vijay Iyer Trio's performance at Clemson University's Brooks Center for the Perfoming Arts was the first jazz programmed as part of the long-running Utsey Chamber Music Series. As the presenter pointed out in her introduction, most jazz is technically chamber music: one player on a part. When the band took the stage Iyer greeted the crowd ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

Vijay Iyer/Prashant Bhargava: Radhe Radhe, Rites of Holi

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Vijay Iyer/Prashant Bhargava Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi ECM 2014 Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi is a sumptuous visual and sonic collaboration between Vijay Iyer and film maker Prashant Bhargava. It was commissioned by Emil Kang, Executive Director of the Carolina Performing Arts as part of a wider series of works to celebrate the centenary of Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring (1913), which in its day, with its avant-garde orchestration, ballet and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Trio 3 + Vijay Iyer: Wiring

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It really should be Trio 4 by now! For their previous four albums the threesome has added a pianist to the ranks, first Geri Allen, then Irene Schweizer, then Allen again, and lastly Jason Moran. Now on Wiring Vijay Iyer takes over the piano stool. You could argue that with their credentials saxophonist Oliver Lake (World Saxophone Quartet), bassist Reggie Workman (John Coltrane) and drummer Andrew Cyrille (Cecil Taylor) don't need assistance from anyone. But each guest subtly changes the ...


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