Find by label


Artist links

Albums by Vijay Iyer Trio

Vijay Iyer Trio

American-born son of immigrants from India VIJAY IYER is one of today's most celebrated and innovative young American jazz artists. Winner of the Downbeat International Critics Polls for Rising Star Jazz Artist and Rising Star Composer for both 2006 and 2007, and a poll favourite for several years running, Vijay was described in The Village Voice as "the most commanding pianist and composer to emerge in recent years" and in The New Yorker as one of "today's most important pianists." The New York Times recently praised his "surging, complex, mutant strain of post-bop, steeped in portent and incident," while the legendary poet Amiri Baraka calls him "an oncoming phenomenon, already up to his fingers in the most advanced music of our wildly contradictory age."

As a key artist of the moment in modern music, Vijay creates music with astonishing breadth and depth. This self-taught pianist and composer forms a surprising synthesis of widely disparate influences: the entire history of jazz piano (his major influences: Ellington, Monk, Andrew Hill, Randy Weston, Geri Allen, and Cecil Taylor); the rhythmic structural precision of M-Base (he toured and recorded with Steve Coleman from 1995-2001), the intense experimentalism of the avantgarde (he is touring and recording with Roscoe Mitchell since 2001); the rugged textures of cutting-edge underground electronica/hip-hop/rock (he collaborates closely with Mike Ladd, Burnt Sugar and DJ Spooky); the rigors of modern Western composition (he studied western classical violin for fifteen years and has had major premieres of his chamber and orchestral works); recent advances in the scientific study of the mind (he has a doctorate in music and cognitive science); and most importantly, the rhythmic intricacy and melodic nuance of the music of India, his parents' homeland (see his ongoing work with Rudresh Mahanthappa).

Vijay has released twelve highly acclaimed recordings, including most recently Tragicomic with his trio and quartet, and Raw Materials (2007) in duo with saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa. His various albums have appeared on best-of-the-year lists in major publications like JazzTimes, Jazzwise, Downbeat, and others. Vijay performs constantly around the world with his own ensembles and collaborations, and has also joined forces with a wide range of pioneering artists, including (in addition to those mentioned above) Amiri Baraka, Amina Claudine Myers, Butch Morris, George Lewis, John Zorn, Dennis Russell Davies, and many others.

Vijay and his colleagues, Marcus Gilmore (drums) and Stephan Crump (bass), have updated the classic jazz piano trio, creating a powerful new music that is firmly grounded in groove and pulse, but also rhythmically intricate and highly interactive; fluidly improvisational, yet uncannily synchronized; emotionally compelling, as well as innovative in texture, style, and musical form. Their original music is influenced by the jazz piano titans such as Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, Andrew Hill and Cecil Taylor; the classical sonorities of composers such as Reich, Ligeti, Debussy, and Bartok; a wide range of rock, soul, funk, hip-hop, dub, electronica, and African music; and the rhythmic vitality and melodic nuance of the music of Iyer's Indian heritage. Howard Reich wrote in The Chicago Tribune: "The three players practically have become a single rhythmic organism... one of the great rhythm units of the day."

Artist blog