Vijay Iyer Trio
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Vijay Iyer’s week continues with the Bay Area premiere of the most recent iteration of his superlative trio.
By the time Iyer released his first trio album with the standard bass and drums configuration he’d established himself as one of the most accomplished and conceptually probing pianists of his generation. His lavishly praised 2009 album Historicity introduced his powerhouse working band with bassist Stephan Crump and drummer Marcus Gilmore, which served as Iyer’s primary trio vehicle for the next decade (with Iyer’s fellow MacArthur Fellow Tyshawn Sorey sometimes taking over the drum chair). In 2021, he introduced a new trio with Sorey and bassist Linda May Han Oh that seemed to capture the disquieting zeitgeist with another critically hailed album, Uneasy (ECM). While credited to all three musicians and marked by breathtaking interplay, the trio reflects Iyer’s vision as the group navigates the intricate rhythmic cycles, rollercoaster momentum shifts, and dense harmonies that make the pianist’s music so enthralling. He also wrote most of the tunes, though Sorey, a celebrated composer in and outside of jazz, and Oh, a bassist with astounding tonal control, are full partners in bringing the music to raw and glorious life.