Vijay Iyer augments his working trio of Stephen Crump (bass) and Tyshawn Sorey (drums) with 3 more players. Graham Haynes on Trumpet, Flugelhorn, and Electronics, Steve Lehman on Alto Sax, and Mark Shim on Tenor Sax.
The additional horns, the outstanding playing, and interesting arrangements, make this my favorite release from Iyer, yet.
Pieces flow organically from Bebop, to Headhunters-esque funk, to classical inspired atmospherics.
Wow. I was familiar with Mr Mitchell from his work with Tim Berne and others, but did not expect this! Crazy ambitious compositions. I guess I’d almost call it “Stravinsky meets Monk in the 21st Century”. Intellectual and driving, yet it swings.
Really cool! And also pretty hilarious song titles like, “bulb terminus”, “squalid ink”, and “gluts”. Though, my favorite track is, “mini alternate”.
Verisimilitude by Tyshawn Sorey, Corey Smythe, and Chris Tordini.
According to the dictionary, “verisimilitude” means, “the appearance of being true or real”. This is the second album from Sorey’s trio with Smythe on piano and Tordini on bass.
The thing I really enjoy about this release, is their use of space and silence. Makes it a really great album to contemplate. They aren’t filling every second with expression and noise. But it isn’t lacking in expression, either.
Bells For The South Side (Disc 2) by Roscoe Mitchell.
When we lived in Madison, WI, Roscoe Mitchell was a professor in the music department at the University of Wisconsin. He would frequently bring the groups he was involved in through town, and I was lucky to see many permutations of his sound.
We were also lucky to be close enough to Chicago that it was close enough to drive down and see many more concerts related to the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). The concerts documented on this recording were recorded as part of an exhibit, called The Freedom Principle, at the Museum of Contemporary Art celebrating the contributions of artists associated with the AACM to world culture.
Roscoe Mitchell, and the AACM, have been a huge part of my musical mind space for many years, and this release is a sort of summary of his work, from what has passed, to what is to come.
Bells For The South Side (Disc 1) by Roscoe Mitchell.
At some point, during the first track on this album, “Spatial Aspects of Sound”, I found myself asking, “What differentiates a discrete series of sound events from music?” Which reminded me of a workshop I attended with Ben Goldberg, where we talked about using silence, as well as sound, with intent, in your playing.