Thursday, April 30, 2009

Vijay Iyer? Has Another New Record Coming Out? What Is This, Like, His Third in Two Years?

It should come as no surprise to anyone who has spent any time reading this blog over the past year or so that I would come out of hibernation to drool over new tracks on Vijay Iyer's myspace. Have you heard them? If you have not, you can find them right here, and they are KILLIN'. Of the five new tracks, three are going to be featured on his new album, "Historicity" and are played by his trio. The other two, "Thrash Anthem" and "Down to the Wire," are played by his sextet and were written as cues for ESPN (how cool is that?).

"Historicity" and "Helix" are classic Iyer, the former featuring violent, stuttering rhythms and equally percussive piano work, and the latter opening quietly, with seemingly improvised chord changes and eventually rising to crescendo, recalling "Threnody" from last year's Tragicomic. The rhythms featured about halfway through the track are completely new, however, and involve the shifts and stutters not uncommon in Iyer's compositions. The third of the trio tracks, however, is possibly the most interesting of all: a cover of M.I.A.'s break-out hit, "Galang." Iyer brings it, and "Galang" is possibly the craziest of the three. Drummer Marcus Gilmore bangs away while bassist Steven Crump attacks every hit; Iyer's own pianistic mimicking of M.I.A.'s voice is uncanny, and the whole thing reminds me of Jason Moran's Bandwagon on crack.

Check them out, if the rest of "Historicity" is as good as these three, we could have one of the best of the year on the way.

41 comments:

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