Vijay Iyer Trio | Mayne Stage | Jazz | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Thu., Oct. 18, 8 p.m. 2012
Price: $20-$35
Pianist Vijay Iyer describes a suite of music he composed for choreographer Karole Armitage in his liner notes to Accelerando (ACT), the latest album by his excellent trio with bassist Stephan Crump and drummer Marcus Gilmore. The goal of the piece was "to see whether a constantly accelerating pulse could form the basis for dance," and the answer turned out to be yes—listeners "group the accelerating events into successively larger units, creating an accelerando that slows down." In certain ways Iyer's remarkably flexible, subtle trio works like that suite: each member accelerates and decelerates, pushing and pulling against various pulses, but the impression they create together is of a single whole rather than individual polyrhythms and melodic fragments. Iyer solos rhapsodically, in the measured, elegant, and determined fashion of his hero Andrew Hill, and the patient, unforced development of his improvisations squares perfectly with the way his bandmates translate time. The material on Accelerando includes sturdy Iyer originals and varied takes on music by Michael Jackson ("Human Nature"), Flying Lotus "Mmmhmmm"), Herbie Nichols ("Wildflower"), and Henry Threadgill ("Little Pocket Size Demons"), among others—and the group transforms it rather than simply performs it. The band's inexorable rhythmic drive pulls you along on an exhilarating ride, and despite the rush of velocity all the stunning technical details register as they fly by, whether you could pick them out or not. —Peter Margasak



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