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Vijay IyerAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Price: $14.67 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Grammy-nominated composer-pianist Vijay Iyer (pronounced “VID-jay EYE-yer”) was described by Pitchfork as "one of the most interesting and vital young pianists in jazz today," by The New Yorker as one of "today's most important pianists… extravagantly gifted… brilliantly eclectic," and by the Los Angeles Weekly as “a boundless and deeply ... Read more in Amazon's Vijay Iyer Store

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Mutations + One Is the Other + The Rite of Spring
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 3, 2014)
  • Original Release Date: 2014
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ecm Records
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,599 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Spellbound and Sacrosanct,Cowrie Shells and the Shimmering Sea
2. Vuln, Part 2
3. Mutation I: Air
4. Mutation II: Rise
5. Mutation III: Canon
6. Mutation IV: Chain
7. Mutation V: Automata
8. Mutation VI: Waves
9. Mutation VII: Kernel
10. Mutation VIII: Clade
11. Mutation IX: Descent
12. Mutation X: Time
13. When We're Gone

Editorial Reviews

Mutations is Vijay Iyers first album as a leader for ECM, and a recording that will widen perceptions of the pianist-composers work. At its center is Mutations I-X, a composition scored for string quartet, piano, and electronics. A major piece built out of cells and fragments, it veers through many atmospheres, from moment to moment propulsive, enveloping, lyrical, luminescent, and strangely beautiful. Through thematic interactivity, the interweaving of acoustic and electronic sound-textures, and some decisive improvisational interventions in notated music, Vijay Iyer has created a multi-faceted suite whose very subject is change. Iyer gives a positive value to the concept of mutation in this music, and variously appears in it as an interpreter of notated elements, as an improviser, and as a sort of laptop artist, mixing in noise and different sounds, encouraging the transformative processes: The suite is framed by three solo statements: Spellbound and Sacrosanct, Cowrie Shells and the Shimmering Sea, a solo piano reading of one of Iyers early compositions, and Vuln, Part 2 and When Were Gone, pieces created in summer 2013. The newer compositions put the piano in counterpoint with electronically generated rhythms and textures which extend the aura of the suite, making the arc of the whole album a journey over changing terrain.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic new variation with Iyer's Mutations March 10, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I was really surprised by this effort. I've been listening to Iyer for years now and have really come to enjoy and respect his style and abilities. I've also been a fan of Eicher and ECM for a long time. I was looking forward to the Eicher "sound": Iyer's music has always been great but the recordings haven't done him justice. ECM has a distinct sound signature, and it is clean, airy, jet black and with unfettered dynamic range. I also was curious if the meeting of Iyer and Eicher would influence the trajectory of the catalog. Regardless of the driving force, Mutations is a clear diversion. It is intelligent, thoughtful, atmospheric, complex, and nuanced. I was drawn into it. Iyer uses electronics quite a bit, primarily for a rhythmically tilted counterpoint. Sometimes the confluence of acoustic and electronic sound - the three dimensional timbre and the lack thereof - can be like that culinary marriage that just didn't work. Not so here. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Also, ECM does a good job here.

Vuln was wonderful. The addition of instrumentation appears to be deliberately incremental in track listing so this, being the second track, introduces electronics to the first track's solo piano. The 10 track title track, Mutations, adds the quartet, and the tone colors and contrast is really wonderful. The whole concludes with a moody and dark When We're Gone. The opening arpeggios of this piece don't resolve and aren't comforting in the least but, as small storm systems of electronics start to rain in the background at about the 2/3rds point, the arpeggios start to coalesce into something more chordal with only a few stragglers, less discordant, but still hanging out on full resolution.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars re: Brilliant and Unique Music March 12, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I admit that while I have liked Vijay Iyer's previous albums, I never really loved them. They were good, but not stratospherically good. "Mutations," on the other hand, is a phenomenal effort. Others are better placed than I to give the technical details, but I can say that this music explodes the boundaries between contemporary classical and jazz, between acoustic and electronic. In a very real sense, this music cannot be labelled, which makes listening to it so rewarding. In a sense, the music explores the same territory as Brad Mehldau's "Highway Rider" (which I also cannot recommend highly enough), but they go in very different directions. In short, buy this CD. It's amazing.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VIJAY IVER STILL GROWING March 3, 2014
Format:Audio CD
This is his first ECM production and is a evidence that Iyer is not only a great pianist, is also a great compositor The main part is a string quartet composition. Contemporary music very intensive and clear. The other themes are for piano solo and some electronics elements. Definitively is not jazz, is MUSIC, contemporary music if you prefer, but not jazz. Is a step forwards in the Iyer career. Is fascinating. Hard to listen but the high level. Vijay Iyer is great
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and original April 2, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
In recent years Vijay Iyer has stood out as one of our finest jazz pianists. In this album he goes in a different direction: jazz-influenced contemporary classical, with electronics and string quartet. The result is varied, interesting, a pleasure to listen to. Iver's music is subtle but accessible, and he may be a star of the next generation of serious composers.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars mutation June 13, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
All over the map jazz.Lots of innovation.I will be looking for more from this artist. ECM recording quality is consistently excellent. A must for compositions like this since one must hear all the depth to get the sense of the pieces.
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