Hat tip to, well, Vijay Iyer for pulling up this recording of his trio (Iyer on piano, Stephan Crump on bass, Marcus Gilmore on drums) performing an hour set live in Salzau, Germany in July of last year. The set, which includes songs from the heralded 2009's Historicity and this year's equally (if not moreso) heralded Accelerando, recorded by Jazz Baltica is head-swirlingly good, so hunker down and watch.
Live at Mayne Stage, Chicago, 18 October 2012 (Show Review)
I, like most music bloggers, am unnecessarily obsessed with best of lists. So much so in fact that I felt compelled this past week to compile a premature list of my favorite jazz releases of the year, one which I was surprised to see, consisted almost entirely of piano trio records: The Bad Plus, Trio M, Alfredo Rodriguez, Brad Mehldau, etc.
I wasn’t exactly sure as to why until last night, when I had the chance to see the Vijay Iyer Trio, who put out my favorite record (jazz or otherwise) of this year, Accelerando.
Taking to Chicago’s Mayne Stage this past Thursday, the band spent the majority of their 2 ½ hour set pulling material from both Accelerando and 2009’s Historicity, two records that affirm, in my mind at least, the piano trio as the most potent unit for creative and forward thinking jazz on the scene today. Seeing them live only strengthened this view.
Last night while halfway watching the Democratic National Convention (because I'm a democrat but I'd much rather read Ezra Klein and co. break down policy than a week long pep rally), I hopped on Google Chat to talk with Vijay Iyer about his upcoming project with spoken word artist Mike Ladd, Holding It Down: The Veterans' Dreams Project. What follows is an edit of our talk about the development of this third major collaboration with Ladd, the idea behind this project, and a little about how it ties together with the First Lady putting US troops to the fore where they should be.
We've seen this pattern before. Vijay Iyer puts out a spectacular trio album and then other live tracks start to float around in its wake, not quite making the cut of the album but considered unofficial bonus tracks. This time around, "Hood", a tribute to house music producer Robert Hood, was recorded in London on May 1 of this year for a session on BBC Radio 3 airing June 11th, and we've got the SoundCloud stream from BBC Radio right here.
It's pretty difficult to picture a time in which pianist Vijay Iyer hasn't emanated calm. In every interview, tweet, and essay, Iyer has always shown a depth of wisdom and serenity, even when his music can at times portray an immense freneticism, especially in his most recent album on the ACT label, Accelerando. It is only upon tapping this wisdom can one find that his calm in contrast with his ever-present potential for frenzy is always rooted in his ability to capture the moment.