Vijay Iyer Trio: Break Stuff | Album Review

Fri, Feb 13, 2015, 00:00


Break Stuff

Vijay Iyer Trio



The title of Vijay Iyer’s third album for ECM refers to the silences, or breaks, in the music, which the New York pianist defines as “spans of time in which to act”. But it also refers to what will likely happen if anyone listens to Iyer’s exhilarating trio while operating heavy machinery. Complex, multilayered rhythmic ideas are passed between Iyer and his colleagues (bassist Stephan Crump and drummer Marcus Gilmore), building shiver-inducing tension. But however dense the music gets, there is always groove and always an underlying logic. Alongside Iyer’s testing original compositions, standards from Monk, Strayhorn and Coltrane reveal the trio’s working methods and make evident their firm grasp of the American tradition, a tradition of which they are to the forefront in extending.