270

Fieldwork: Your Life Flashes

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Fieldwork: Your Life Flashes The first four releases from Pi Recordings feature brilliant but underappreciated veteran jazz giants: Henry Threadgill, Roscoe Mitchell, and Wadada Leo Smith's Golden Quartet. But the label also looks to jazz's future with Your Life Flashes by Fieldwork, a collective trio of inspired and vibrant young jazz men.

The group's leader (unofficial, perhaps, but he wrote ten of the twelve tunes) is pianist Vijay Iyer, who sounds like a man possessed here. He's from the percussive school of piano. Think Bud Powell, McCoy Tyner, but with an urgency and perhaps an outsider's perspective. As the son of Indian immigrants, Iyer apparently has a deep knowledge of the music from his parents' homeland. And while the influence of Indian music isn't in-your-face on his compositions, it is there in a rhythmic undercurrent, married to a very American groove.

And more than anything, it's this groove suffused with a free jazz clamor that makes this recording so compelling and fresh.

Saxophonist Aaron Stewart and drummer Elliot Humberto Kavee are Iyer's band mates on Fieldwork; and what's interesting about their sound—apart from the driving urgency—is the way the trio shares the rhythm chores. Fieldwork is a densely, deeply polyrhythmic band. While Iyer and Kavee set up a a couple of different grooves apiece, Aaron Stewart's saxophone grit seems to polish the "avant garde-ness" off the overall sound, an attempt to pull it toward the mainstream, before he slips into a rhythm mode and Iyer takes flight.

Your Life Flashes sounds foreign and familiar and avant-garde and mainstream all at the same time. Vijay Iyer has drawn from his experiece playing in Roscoe Mitchell's band, a unit that can do the same thing. With his talent, energy, and brashness plus his outsider's perspective, he is taking jazz on new and facinating tangent. If you're interested in hearing change and innovation anchored in the jazz tradition, Iyer is a player to follow. Start with Fieldwork.

Track Listing: In Medias Res, Accumulated Gestrues, Sublimation, Generations, Mosiac, Sympathy, Step Lively, Horoscope, The Inner World, Path of Action.

Personnel: Vijay Iyer: piano; Elliot Humberto Kavee: durms; Aaron Stewart: tenor saxophone.

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Pi Recordings | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Two CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Black Orpheus" CD/LP/Track Review Black Orpheus
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 30, 2016
Read "Voices in the Void" CD/LP/Track Review Voices in the Void
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 3, 2017
Read "A Multitude of Angels" CD/LP/Track Review A Multitude of Angels
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Chronosome" CD/LP/Track Review Chronosome
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Perihelion" CD/LP/Track Review Perihelion
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 21, 2016
Read "Tributango" CD/LP/Track Review Tributango
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 13, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.