Vijay Iyer Trio: Jazz At Its Finest And Friskiest

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Hip-hop aficionados will recognize "Mystic Brew" as the source material for A Tribe Called Quest's "Electric Relaxation," in which Ali Shaheed Muhammad exhumed Ronnie Foster's then-obscure 1972 soul-jazz tune. In "Mystic Brew (Trixation Version)," pianist Vijay Iyer at once returns the song to its jazz roots and infuses it with modernity.

Wednesday's Pick

  • Song: "Mystic Brew (Trixation Version)"
  • Artist: Vijay Iyer Trio
  • CD: Historicity
  • Genre: Jazz
Vijay Iyer i

In "Mystic Brew," pianist Vijay Iyer returns a soulful staple to its jazz roots while infusing it with modernity. courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption courtesy of the artist
Vijay Iyer

In "Mystic Brew," pianist Vijay Iyer returns a soulful staple to its jazz roots while infusing it with modernity.

courtesy of the artist

Iyer's rendition takes a decidedly modern approach to jazz, as the pianist begins by pecking out the hypnotic melody in a staccato fashion. Soon, bassist Stephan Cump and Marcus Gilmore enter, laying down a groove that hints at New Orleans' second-line rhythms before quickly giving way to intricate syncopations that suggest M-BASE.

Iyer embellishes his melodic improvisations with rumbling tremolos, cascading asides and tricky two-handed orchestral interplay, while the rhythm section slips in a suspenseful rubato flow that slows the momentum unexpectedly, displaces the kick beat, slyly propels the beat in front of Iyer's pianism and then proceeds forward. The result is jazz for the hip-hop generation, at its finest and friskiest.

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Historicity

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Album
Historicity
Artist
Vijay Iyer
Label
ACT Music
Released
2009

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