Vijay Iyer/Linda May Han Oh/Tyshawn Sorey: Compassion review – a trio of rare intuition

(ECM)
Improvising around Iyer compositions and numbers by Stevie Wonder, Roscoe Mitchell and more, these musicians foreground openness and receptivity

Indian-American pianist and composer Vijay Iyer’s three decades of accolades took off when, as a polymathic twentysomething, he was a California physics PhD student – at which point a sideline in classical music training and self-taught jazz piano took him into another world. Physics has always seemed to square with Iyer’s sharp-focused yet poetic musical muse – precisely analytical yet conceptually wide open, searching for fundamentals that can bend to anything from the psychology of music-making, to contemporary-classical composing, to musicology and audiovisual art.

Iyer observes that this trio with bassist Linda May Han Oh and drummer Tyshawn Sorey developed its intuitive real-time exchanges “onstage, out in the world, in spaces of community and encounter” – the title representing qualities of openness and receptivity essential to live collective improvisation, and to living.

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