Last Call Spotlight: Vijay Iyer Trio/Break Stuff/ECM

May 10, 2015

A dynamic, creative presence on the jazz scene for much of the last decade, Vijay Iyer has released a new recording on ECM records with his trio, Break Stuff. Iyer's trio includes Stephen Crump on bass and Marcus Gillmore on drums. Together they create music fueled by Iyer's bold, relentless piano chords, Crump's insistent bass and the jazz-rock accents of Gilmore's drums. 

“Break Stuff” is billed as what happens after formal elements have been addressed. Vijay Iyer  calls the break “a span of time in which to act. It’s the basis for breakdowns, breakbeats, and break dancing... it can be the moment when everything comes to life.” A number of the pieces here are breakdowns of other Iyer constructions. Others are standards given new directions. Iyer's trio creates a relentless pulse on 12 tracks.  Highlights include "Diptych", "Taking Flight", "Break Stuff" "Hood" and "Countdown". Iyer also takes a solo on Billy Strayhorn's "Blood Count".

Grammy-nominated composer-pianist Vijay Iyer  was described by the Los Angeles Weekly as “a boundless and deeply important young star,” and by Minnesota Public Radio as “an American treasure.” He was named DownBeat Magazine‘s 2014 Pianist of the Year, a 2013 MacArthur Fellow, and a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist. In 2014 he began a permanent appointment as the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts in the Department of Music at Harvard University.

The New York Times observes, “There’s probably no frame wide enough to encompass the creative output of the pianist Vijay Iyer.” Iyer has released twenty albums,  most recently for the ECM label. He is arguably one of the foremost jazz pianists alive today.

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You may also listen to a recent concert with the Vijay Iyer Trio at: