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Historicity

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 13, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

"A boundless and deeply important young star." -- LA Weekly

"One of the most exciting new voices in jazz." -- Boston Globe

"One of the scene's most original players." -- The Wire

"One of the most original and accomplished young pianists in years." -- Village Voice

"A formidable force ... startlingly effective and unflinchingly forward-looking." -- Chicago Tribune

"A total triumph from beginning to end." -- All About Jazz

"Unfailingly imaginative and significant." -- JazzTimes

"One of the most intellectually restless improvising musicians in the world these days." -- Chicago Reader

* Twice voted the #1 Rising Star Jazz Artist and Rising Star Composer in DownBeat's International Critics' Poll, Vijay Iyer is a largely self-taught creative musician grounded in the American jazz lexicon and drawing from a range of Western and non-Western traditions.
* His widely acclaimed recordings on innovative labels like Pi Recordings, Sunnyside, and Savoy Jazz include Panoptic Modes (2001), Blood Sutra (2003), Reimagining (2005), Tragicomic (2008), Your Life Flashes (2002), Simulated Progress (2005), Door (2008), Raw Materials (2006), and many more.
* Historicity is informed by the constant transformative relationship between past and present. "It's just a condition of being alive," Iyer says. "We're always shaped by history, even as we reach into the future."
* Independent promoter Matt Merewitz will handle print promotion.
* Ads with DownBeat. Vijay Iyer: piano Stephan Crump: bass Marcus Gilmore: drums
* Historicity
* Somewhere
* Galang [Trio Riot Version]
* Helix
* Smoke Stack
* Big Brother
* Dogon A.D.
* Mystic Brew
* Trident: 2010
* Segment For Sentiment #2

Review

2010 Grammy Finalist: Jazz Category -
Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group --Grammy.com/nominees
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 13, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Act Music & Vision
  • ASIN: B002EC3932
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,760 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Scott D. Reeves on December 14, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Historicity is the new trio album by the Vijay Iyer trio (Iyer on piano, Stephan Crump on bass and Marcus Gilmore on drums.) It is also, in my estimation, the best new jazz release of 2009. The album features 10 tunes and includes covers of such diverse songwriters as Andrew Hill, Stevie Wonder and Julius Hemphill. There are also three originals by Iyer.

The playing on this CD is wonderful - angular, virtuosic, intelligent. This is piano trio music for the 21st century. Just listen for the traces of the beautiful melody in the density of sound that the group achieves on their fantastic cover of Leonard Bernstein's "Somewhere." The Hill number "Smokestack" is nearly as brilliant. I listen to dozens of jazz trio albums each year and while many (if not most) are enjoyable and musically competent, very few really having something new to say. Vijay Iyer's Historicity is one of those albums. Listen and hear for yourself.
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Format: Audio CD
Overview:

When I first heard this was going to be a trio and Rudresh Mahanthappa was not going to be playing on the CD I thought this couldn't possibly be as good as Vijay's recent releases. Vijay and Rudresh have such chemistry ... how could the trio be better? Well it is. It is way better. I love Vijay's prior albums but this one is really special. Prior to this album I never really heard bassist Crump. There was too much else going on. On this format you can really here Marcus Gilmore on drums and Stephen Crump on bass, and they are really good. And Vijay can fill up space like you wouldn't believe. Having no other leads gives Vijay lots of room and he romps all over the place. Two other important things to note about this album: #1 it is very modern and reminds me a bit of E.S.T. #2 This is the first Vijay Iyer album where it truly is a modern postbop album and not a world music/jazz fusion album. There is a tinge of world accent on the remake of Trident, but besides that this could just as easily be a modern Scandanavian trio. While I love the world accent on the previous albums, it is impressive to see Vijay move past something that was successful onto some that is even better.

Song Highlights:

Dogon A.D. - This track is a modern funky romp. Bassist Crump opens with the bow on the bass strings and gets down with it. This really reminds of of E.S.T. ...man i miss them. Dogon A.D. is an album by Julius Hemphill which was released in 1972. Vijay really dug deep in history to find this one. Thank you.

Mystic Brew - Vijay reworked a Ronnie Foster song here. Vijay does these killer staccato appegios that just rock. It's upbeat and pretty and magical.

Galang - very modern tune originaly written by Maya Arulpragasam.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The trio, rather than the larger group with Rudresh on tenor, is really the perfect format/foil for Vijay Iyer. This recording is simply stunning, whether youre a fan of extraordinary technique or pure improvisational chops. Just a cursory listen to how Vijay uses a standard like "Somewhere" as a vehicle for melodic and harmonic reinvention is worth the price of this recording. Among the covers here: Juluis Hemphill's Dogon AD and Smokestack which reveals the clear influence of Andrew Hill on Vijay. Simply stunning.
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Pianist Vijay Iyer, with Marcus Gilmore on drums and Stephan Crump on bass, is updating the piano trio with exciting rhythms and a fresh mixture of modern jazz classics (by Andrew Hill, Julius Hemphill and Ronnie Foster), pop songs (by Bernstein & Sondheim, Stevie Wonder, and M.I.A), and original compositions by Iyer.

This is vibrant, contemporary jazz, great for listening while dancing or sitting, but if sitting, some part of you is likely to be in motion!

Iyer includes a quote from Gramsci's Prison Notebooks in the liner notes, and refers to the "Brown and Black Atlantic" of colonialism and the slave trade, so we know the music is informed by a radical political and social sensibility.

My jazz listening has grown further and further from what's current, still rooted in the Sixties/Seventies free jazz/improv of the AACM (Roscoe Mitchell, Henry Threadgill) and Europe (Peter Brotzmann, Evan Parker), so I am quite happy to have discovered some great jazz being made by younger musicians!
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Having seen the Historicity concert on tour, i knew pretty much what to expect in creativity and quality. Great piano poly-rhythmic skills on the part of Vijay Iyer...he is a brilliant artist with a brilliant cast....Marcus Gilmore, a very talented drummer (and grandson of Roy Haynes) and Stephan Crump, a great bass player. I really appreciated 'Galang' (Trio Riot Version), typical of Vijay Iyer's style and talent.
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Format: Audio CD
Historicity is without a doubt one of the most unique piano trio albums to come along in quite some time. Vijay Iyer Trio's expansive, worldly, and highly intellectual style is one that they can claim as their very own, and it is exemplified the best in the 10 tracks here. For a while, I was very curious about this music but I had a hard time understanding it on the level that would maximize my appreciation. The moral of the story here is that Historicity requires patience and a A LOT of listening to really comprehend its musical depths. However, careful listening is rewarded with an understanding of this group's telepathic musical connection.
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