Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Vijay Iyer Trio - Break Stuff (2015)

So I get the latest edition of Downbeat in the mail, and this is the cover:


This Iyer guy wins artist of the year, his trio wins group of the year, and this album comes in 7th in the poll.  Not a bad haul.  You have my attention.  Then I was checking out a list over at NPR and this album was mentioned again.  Then I see where Metacritic rates it at a very respectable 84 (which didn't factor in the 5 star review in Downbeat).  Okay, now I gotta hear it.

Not disappointed.  This is the trio's first release on the legendary ECM label, and they were given the usual outstanding production and creative freedom from Manfred Eicher.  So it sounds great and the music is unclassifiable.  It's jazz, sure, but it's not straight-ahead, or fusion, or avant garde, or neo-anything, or post-anything.  Thom Jurek over at Allmusic states that this album "is modern jazz on the bleeding edge" and the fact that I like it on first listen means it must be somewhat accessible, right?  I'd love to check out this trio live and see them work.

Iyer is a pianist with all kinds of awards/credentials and this has the usual trio set up with bass and drums.  The trio plays off each other beautifully.  Of the album's 12 tracks, 9 are Iyer originals and the remaining three are tunes by Monk, Strayhorn, and Coltrane.  Get more info and hear some of the album over at the ECM website.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart:  Did not chart

Tracks:  I'm still digging in and I'm liking what I'm hearing.  If I were asked to pick favorite tracks today, I'd go with Chorale, Hood, Taking Flight, and Wrens.  The track simply entitled Geese is interesting to be sure, but I'm not sure if I like it or not - more listenings required.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  None, but I've been recommending it nonstop since I heard it.

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