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Vijay Iyer TRIO-][- HISTORICITY – [Act Music & Vision, 2009] – Reviewed

From time to time, I particularly follow music by artist that approaches their instrument, composition and arrangements with tenacity and unbridled passion. In this case, I decided to re-visit “HISTORICITY” by pianist Vijay Iyer [TRIO]. With this, as in many of his projects, Iyer illustrates why he is one artist who surpasses the norm and does so brilliantly. Of course, this should not surprise anyone who’s heard this inventive and charismatic new generation bop-ologists prior to this recording.

For those who are unfamiliar with Vijay Iyer, his enormous soundscape is not easy to conceal, limit or envision him as being smooth or illusive. The remarkable thing about artist(s) of Vijay Iyer’s caliber is his uninhibited tapestry of melodies exudes with a corresponding blanket of organic textures and endless harmonics which in time unleashes the essence of who he is artistically. As each composition unfolds, they encapsulate his stunning performance and unraveled energy to illuminate his voice within the realm of each unstructured piece that resides on this phenomenal recording appropriately titled “Historicity.”

“Historicity” from the onset is an amazing overture of improvisational based compositions and arrangements that will undoubtedly leave you speechless as you encounter them with each spin. With that in mind, on the opener “Historicity” Vijay evaluates his position to fluently move up and down the scales to the right then left on the piano as the chemistry and interplay of his cohorts seem to employ uneven tones. In a moment’s notice their dexterous movement surprisingly elevates with each forbidden note in streams of abstract sequences to bridge his adventurous voice with the extraordinary Marcus Gilmore on the kit and tireless agility of bassist Stephen Crump.

With ten pieces available and three originals included, Vijay demonstrates why he’s no stranger to improvisation landscape within the robust toxins of “Galang (Trio Riot Version).” He masterfully navigates through this rough terrain to assure the listener he’s still in control. Gilmore and Crump adjusts their momentum to infuse and impressive array of hip-hop voicings clings to the outer edge made this groove flow with intensity.

The astounding nuances of “Trident: 2010,” are tastefully divulge as it appears near the end of this marvelous recording by Vijay Iyer. This gem encompasses the rudiments discovered within the body of Iyer’s incalculable genius, spirit and imagination layered throughout this offering. In retrospect, what I do admire the most is the way pianist Vijay Iyer sculpts this untainted canvas. He gracefully pursues, interprets, interacts and reinvents these complex yet exhausting compositions and arrangements through the chambers of his improvisational prowess as a musician which appears to be in my mind perfection at least that’s how I hear it! –by Rob Young | The Urban Flux

Be sure and check out Vijay Iyer’s catalog at Amazon.com.