by Vijay Iyer
Released: Mar 2012
Label: ACT Music
The Vijay Iyer Trio broke big with 2009's Historicity by covering M.I.A. alongside Julius Hemphill, a master from the avant-jazz wilds. For their encore, they repeat this approach, taking on Michael Jackson ("Human Nature") and Henry Threadgill ("Little Pocket Size Demons"). But this isn't merely a formula: The pianist's originals are also worthy (see the title track). To cap it off, there's a spare-but-swinging trio workout of a bit of Duke Ellington's neglected orchestral suite "The River." You'd think it might be impossible to be so forceful and so elegant at once, but apparently it's not.
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