VIJAY IYER

Avant-Garde Jazz / 21st Century Modern / Eclectic Fusion / World Fusion / Post Bop / Third Stream / Jazz Related Improv/Composition • United States
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Grammy-nominated composer-pianist Vijay Iyer's most recent honors include a 2013 MacArthur fellowship, a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, an unprecedented “quintuple crown” in the 2012 Down Beat International Critics Poll (winning Jazz Artist of the Year, Pianist of the Year, Jazz Album of the Year, Jazz Group of the Year, and Rising Star Composer categories), a “quadruple crown” in the JazzTimes extended critics poll (winning Artist of the Year, Acoustic/Mainstream Group of the Year, Pianist of the Year, and Album of the Year), the Pianist of the Year Awards for both 2012 and 2013 from the Jazz Journalists Association, and the 2013 ECHO Award (the “German Grammy”) for best international pianist.

March 2014 marks the release of Mutations, Iyer’s eighteenth album and his debut for the ECM label: a recording for piano, string quartet and electronics, the first album to document his works for chamber ensembles. His previous release,
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VIJAY IYER Discography

VIJAY IYER albums / top albums

VIJAY IYER Memorophilia album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Memorophilia
Avant-Garde Jazz 1995
VIJAY IYER Architextures album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Architextures
Avant-Garde Jazz 1998
VIJAY IYER Panoptic Modes album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Panoptic Modes
Avant-Garde Jazz 2001
VIJAY IYER Fieldwork : Your Life Flashes album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fieldwork : Your Life Flashes
World Fusion 2002
VIJAY IYER Vijay Iyer & Mike Ladd ‎: In What Language? album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Vijay Iyer & Mike Ladd ‎: In What Language?
Eclectic Fusion 2003
VIJAY IYER Blood Sutra album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Blood Sutra
Avant-Garde Jazz 2003
VIJAY IYER Fieldwork : Simulated Progress album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fieldwork : Simulated Progress
World Fusion 2005
VIJAY IYER Reimagining album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Reimagining
Post Bop 2005
VIJAY IYER Vijay Iyer & Rudresh Mahanthappa ‎: Raw Materials album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Vijay Iyer & Rudresh Mahanthappa ‎: Raw Materials
Avant-Garde Jazz 2006
VIJAY IYER Tragicomic album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Tragicomic
Avant-Garde Jazz 2008
VIJAY IYER Door (as Fieldwork) album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Door (as Fieldwork)
World Fusion 2008
VIJAY IYER Vijay Iyer Trio ‎: Historicity album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Vijay Iyer Trio ‎: Historicity
21st Century Modern 2009
VIJAY IYER Solo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Solo
21st Century Modern 2010
VIJAY IYER Tirtha (with Prasanna & Nitin Mitta) album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Tirtha (with Prasanna & Nitin Mitta)
World Fusion 2011
VIJAY IYER Vijay Iyer Trio ‎: Accelerando album cover 3.83 | 3 ratings
Vijay Iyer Trio ‎: Accelerando
21st Century Modern 2012
VIJAY IYER Vijay Iyer & Mike Ladd – Holding It Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Vijay Iyer & Mike Ladd – Holding It Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project
Jazz Related Improv/Composition 2013
VIJAY IYER Mutations album cover 3.98 | 5 ratings
Mutations
Third Stream 2014
VIJAY IYER Vijay Iyer Trio ‎: Break Stuff album cover 4.00 | 7 ratings
Vijay Iyer Trio ‎: Break Stuff
Eclectic Fusion 2015
VIJAY IYER Vijay Iyer / Wadada Leo Smith : A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke album cover 4.45 | 3 ratings
Vijay Iyer / Wadada Leo Smith : A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke
21st Century Modern 2016
VIJAY IYER Vijay Iyer Sextet ‎: Far From Over album cover 4.43 | 2 ratings
Vijay Iyer Sextet ‎: Far From Over
21st Century Modern 2017
VIJAY IYER Vijay Iyer & Mike Ladd : InWhatStrumentals album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Vijay Iyer & Mike Ladd : InWhatStrumentals
Eclectic Fusion 2020
VIJAY IYER Uneasy album cover 4.05 | 2 ratings
Uneasy
Post Bop 2021

VIJAY IYER EPs & splits

VIJAY IYER live albums

VIJAY IYER Still Life With Commentator (with Mike Ladd) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Still Life With Commentator (with Mike Ladd)
Eclectic Fusion 2007
VIJAY IYER Vijay Iyer & Craig Taborn : The Transitory Poems album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Vijay Iyer & Craig Taborn : The Transitory Poems
Avant-Garde Jazz 2019

VIJAY IYER demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

VIJAY IYER re-issues & compilations

VIJAY IYER essentials album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
essentials
21st Century Modern 2019

VIJAY IYER singles (0)

VIJAY IYER movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi
Jazz Related Soundtracks 2014

VIJAY IYER Reviews

VIJAY IYER Vijay Iyer Sextet ‎: Far From Over

Album · 2017 · 21st Century Modern
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snobb
Pianist Vijay Iyer is one of the more important figures on the American creative jazz scene for the last two decades. During this time, he built the solid reputation of a precise player who connects Indian roots, jazz tradition and modernity in one, usually unpredictable, complex but accessible mix, attractive for a wide range of listeners. Better known by his solo or small band recordings, his new sextet is a real triumph, probably his highest success till now.

Combining regular jazz trio (with star-drummer Tyshawn Sorey on board) with a brass trio on the front of the sound, Iyer offers a high-energy mini-big band, playing some of his most memorable compositions (all originals). Radically different from Iyers' regular acoustic trios, this new sextet sounds a lot like Miles' early fusion bands, just framed with modern chamber jazz-influenced composition. Iyer himself switches from acoustic piano to Rhodes, on some extended soloing, together with another first-range star - altoist Steve Lehman (who already played with Iyer and Sorey as Fieldwork trio).

To finish the mix, add some hip-hop and funky rhythms, and what you get is an excellent today's jazz album, containing no fillers, and sounding BIG, as revitalizing the times when jazz was really BIG. Almost a masterpiece.

VIJAY IYER Uneasy

Album · 2021 · Post Bop
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snobb
Last year in jazz, heavily influenced by the COVID pandemic, wasn't a regular one. With live gigs and even studio recording sessions being very often unavailable for many, musical market reacted quite soon flooding on-line sales points with tons of vaults material, rehearsal recordings and DIY-level home-made new music, which too often wouldn't be released under normal conditions at all.

There still were released (and still continue to come) some really good albums during these difficult times, renowned American pianist Vijay Iyer's new just released "Uneasy" is one of them.

It is Iyer's second trio album for ECM, the previous one was released in 2015, but the new trio is quite different from the first one. In fact, now we have a super-trio of sort, including one of the brightest creative drummer of the last few years Tyshawn Sorey and growing stylish bassist Linda Oh, who's solo works require a wider introduction, and she's one of the busiest acoustic bassist on today's scene as a collaborator.

From the very first sounds one will note that the new album sounds quite unusual for an ECM release. Recorded at Oktaven Audio Studio in Mount Vernon, NY, it doesn't have that characteristic cool and sterile sound of Oslo's Rainbow studio, or some other European facilities beloved by ECM. The opener, "Children Of Flint", is one of the best compositions on the whole album, with a lot of emotion and even some drama. As almost all the other album's songs, it is an Iyer's original (Gerri Allen’s “Drummer’s Song” and not really impressive version of Cole Porter’s “Night and Day” are the two only non-originals here).

Iyer's own compositions come from different periods of time, some of them have been already recorded on his other albums. Still, here they sound way different. Not as radical as many of Iyer's previous albums, "Uneasy", with its dominating mid-tempo all-acoustic groovy sound and extremely successful balance between post-bop tradition, creativity and modern sound, is possibly one great candidate for being a soundtrack for this last pandemic year - worried, calmer, sad and hopeful. Surprisingly, it was recorded in December 2019, but it anticipates pretty well the atmosphere of changes which came very soon.

Quite accessible, it brings lot of pleasure when listening, one of the very best works already released this year.

VIJAY IYER Vijay Iyer / Wadada Leo Smith : A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke

Album · 2016 · 21st Century Modern
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snobb
Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and pianist Vijay Iyer are both brightest representatives of two different jazz generations and ambiences. Smith is one of AACM founders,who played with Anthony Braxton and in late 90's - first decades of new century became one of the leaders (together with Henry Threadgill) of re-vitalized crossover avantgarde jazz releasing series of large-format albums.

Vijay Iyer came to jazz scene in 90s and during next two decades built the reputation of one of leading pianist playing world fusion,avant-garde jazz even mixing both with contemporary classics.

"A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke" is first duo's album. Released on German ECM label,it sounds according to label's standard - sound is crystal clear and emotionally quite cool.

Iyer plays piano, Fender Rhodes and uses some (lap top?) electronics which often sounds like early analogue Moog.

On a mid-tempo compositions Smith's trumpet flies over Iyer's almost chamber piano or,alternatively, electronics bass pulsation weaving unique aerial and meditative in moments aural sculptures where European and Indian classic roots are mixed with American minimalism and avant-garde jazz aesthetics.

If Iyer's few previous works for ECM already prepared listener for such sound, for often massive and even bombastic Smith's music of last decades it's quite unusual turn. Fortunately, all sound perfectly showing more intimate side of Smith's musicianship.

Structurally album contains opener, seven-part suite and the closer, and requires repeated listening. Not a jazz in a traditional sense, but no-one expects too traditional music from such duet. Excellent work, setting up new standards for jazz in contemporary world.

VIJAY IYER Mutations

Album · 2014 · Third Stream
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snobb
American pianist Vijay Iyer ECM debut opens with "Spellbound And Sacrosanct, Cowrie Shells And The Shimmering Sea" - solo piano composition,coming from his first ever album, released in 1995 (Memorophilia,Asian Improv Records ‎– AIR 0023). But on "Mutations" this song sounds not like free improv, but as well-composed chamber piece. "Vuln,part 2" coming next changes the mood radically - Iyer's piano sounds are walking over deep electronics pulsation more common on ambient or left-field recordings.

Rest of the album is completed with one long suite,composed by Iyer and played by him (on piano and electronics) and strings quartet."Mutations I-X" is perfect title for music presented under that title - mostly pre-composed,it flows changing its form,mood and timbres but staying generally almost the same. All compositions are minimalist,with lot of space and cross-stylistic by their origin. Strings quartet (cello,viola and two violins) sound sometimes chamber,but more often - dark,dissonant or even streetwise(in places their droning recalls "Apocalyptica plays Metallica" aesthetics). Iyer plays very ascetic piano here and there, more often he's a source of different electronic voices and noises.

Main pleasant surprise with "Mutations.." is that being a product of many (and often polar)influences,music here doesn't sound chaotic or eclectic. All techniques and aesthetics are so carefully used that final product sounds as new unity,tasteful,stylish,ambitious and accessible at the same time.

As many cross-genre recordings of similar origin, "Mutations" isn't music for everyone's ear. Jazz purists wouldn't find much jazz here (probably not at all),chamber snobs will be shocked by flippant use of electronics,noise and drones combining it with string quartet's music,but fans of advanced (and very cinematographic,or probably better to say - modern theater soundtrack-like)music will find lot of joy and new ideas here. Excellent Vijay ECM debut - opening label's already a bit conservative doors wider.

VIJAY IYER Vijay Iyer Trio ‎: Break Stuff

Album · 2015 · Eclectic Fusion
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js
Breaks in music often refer to gaps of silence, some long, and some very short. Its a consideration of these ‘breaks’ and their importance that fuels much of Vijay Iyer’s new album, “Break Stuff”. Despite the pioneering work of Morton Feldman, John Cage and Stockhausen, some consider the manipulation of silence to still be an uncharted frontier in music. Besides the previously mentioned highbrow composers, breaks have found their way into popular music via the art of dubbing and other DJ tricks. Breaks in today’s music world can also refer to break beats and other DJ derived rhythms, and that sort of break also shows up on “Break Stuff”.

There is so much variety on here, Iyer is a restless creator and he fills all 70 minutes of this CD with a wealth of ideas and styles. “Break Stuff” opens somewhat pensively as Iyer explores some very interesting tone colors on the piano. I’m not sure how he gets all of his striking sound effects, possibly by going inside the piano, or that’s how it sounds at least. Partway through the second track, Iyer shifts into fusion mode playing strong rhythmic right hand solo lines that echo the young Chick Corea. On fourth track, “Hood” (named for DJ Robert Hood), Iyer and his group show their appreciation for Detroit techno, the form of techno that imitates African music in its complex rhythmic relationships. Other groups, such as Dawn of Midi, have attempted this sort of thing, and it seems Iyer and his group have achieved the best synthesis of techno and jazz yet.

The variety on this CD continues as Iyer takes on Monk’s “Work”, and shows a Monk styled playful sense of mischief. Other original tracks show Iyer and his rhythm section working with dense textures that recall recent works by Craig Taborn. Bassist Stephan Crump and drummer Marcus Gilmore supply intelligent support throughout, with Gilmore’s bold and original contributions taking on more importance due to the highly rhythmic nature of this album. To Iyer's credit, one of the very best tracks on the album is a solo piano take on Billy Strayhorn’s sublime “Blood Count”, which Iyer plays elegantly, allowing the rich harmonies to speak for themselves.

Where is modern jazz heading these days, “Break Stuff” offers a lot of possibilities, and despite this album's very eclectic material, it all fits together and makes sense. The uniting factor that ties all these tracks together is the band's stuttering modern rhythms that utilize silence, as well as sound.

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