Lynne Harty/Courtesy of the artist
The Vijay Iyer Trio recently performed a studio session at KPLU.
The Vijay Iyer Trio recently performed a studio session at KPLU. Lynne Harty/Courtesy of the artist
The Vijay Iyer Trio's latest release, Historicity, won numerous awards, topped countless year-end critics' Top 10 lists and was nominated for a 2011 Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Album. Pianist Vijay Iyer seems pleased by the recognition, if not especially fazed by it. In fact, during his trio's visit to the KPLU/Jazz24 performance studios, the group played only one piece of music from Historicity: "Smoke Stack," by one of Iyer's mentors, Andrew Hill.
The trio — including Marcus Gilmore on drums and bassist Stephan Crump — also performed an arrangement of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature," as well as an as-yet-unrecorded original composition called "Optimism." Between songs, in a conversation with KPLU/Jazz24 music director Nick Francis, Iyer describes the power, logic and democracy of the jazz-trio configuration of piano, bass and drums. He also details his journey from the world of science, where he holds a master's degree in physics, to the world of jazz, where some would say he holds the future.