A commanding one-man show. -- John Fordham, The Guardian UK, August 19, 2010
A much-lauded jazz pianist, Iyer plays nimbly in many ensembles and settings--but he really shines on Solo, his first unaccompanied recording, which comes out August 31 on ACT Music + Vision. Bursting with both emotion and intelligence, this album is a dispatch from the vibrant forefront of jazz -- Utne Reader, September 2010
Four Stars! -- Rolling Stone Germany, September 2010
If you want to know where Jazz is in 2010 and where it's headed, Iyer is among the first musicians to hear -- Chris Barton, LA Times, August 13, 2010
Solo is Iyer's first unaccompanied recording and it reveals one more thing that he does extraordinarily well -- JazzTimes
From the Artist
Autoscopy" refers to a type of out-of-body experience in which you observe your actions from outside of (usually above) your body. Playing music occasionally offers that experience. In a different sense, so does making a solo album.
I noticed that in both cases you witness your own hexis - the way you hold yourself while taking action; a disposition, posture, stance, character, or attitude; the energy radiating from you as you do your work; the visible or audible spark of intent that precedes the act. That hexis is part of you, but is hard to detect from within; you only catch it when you step outside of yourself.
A great musical debt is owed to composer-pianists Thelonious Monk, Andrew Hill, Duke Ellington, Muhal Richard Abrams, Randy Weston, Cecil Taylor, and Sun Ra (a.k.a. Herman "Sonny" Blount). I learned to play by listening carefully to each man's hexis - the audible poise behind the notes, the purposefulness with which the piano is confronted, the grandeur in the approach.
I dedicate the music to each of them, and to three other composer-performers who have graciously taught me some of their music and awakened me to new possibilities: Wadada Leo Smith, Steve Coleman, and Roscoe Mitchell.
Thank you for listening. vijay iyer New York City, 27 May 2010
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