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Apr 18, 2014







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Vijay Iyer Trio, Accelerando
ACT Music, March 13

By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



If your bleeding-edge jazz has to be up to the minute, you’re probably well aware of this New York pianist and his exploits, which include the In What Language collaboration with hip-hopper Mike Ladd. A faculty member of several schools, he’s worked with the likes of Das Racist, DJ Spooky and Dead Prez, not out of cultural necessity but natural curiosity (or luck of the draw). Accelerando, his 16th LP as a leader, will be considered one of the most fascinating releases of the year, sounding at times improvisational, at others reverent, but always mathematical, such as in leadoff salvo “Bode,” where the point seems to be to experiment with how big his hands can get on the leftmost bass end of the keyboard, evoking silent-movie images of Snidely Whiplash tying the heroine to the railroad tracks. The crazy part is that this is just Iyer with a bass player and drummer — full of rancorous sound, a lot of this is similar to the experimental band Battles, rolling mechanically and genially, but when that isn’t going on he’s trying radio-funk and rock on for size (Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” gets a treatment that speaks both to panache and romance).  Jazz-heads won’t be able to take their ears off this. A+ —Eric W. Saeger
 






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