Vijay Iyer’s exhilarating debut on Savoy Jazz, featuring powerful new music for his longstanding quartet (Iyer, piano; Rudresh Mahanthappa, alto saxophone; Stephan Crump, bass; Marcus Gilmore, drums). Capped off with a radical solo piano version of John Lennon’s “Imagine.” Released May 17, 2005.
BEST JAZZ ALBUMS OF 2005 – Slate, ArtForum, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Village Voice, JazzTimes
**** (4 stars) – Downbeat
“an organic, austere consistency of vision and accomplishment that’s simply stunning… The quartet achieves an internal sympathy and rapport that’s unsurpassed by any working jazz group today.” – All About Jazz
“Iyer plays with a ringing bell-like tone that recalls both McCoy Tyner and Nina Simone at her most wrought, then drops small descending chords like blessings… The music conveys a narrative quality that’s very much driven by the leader that combines with a strong lyrical sense to create intensely engaging music.” – Signal to Noise
“Here is a musician who is discovering as he goes, one who never gives in to notions of excess or mere vanguard speculation, but who moves purposefully into the process of discovery. And jazz is better for it. Reimagining is the sound of the mature Iyer, who is at once authoritative and inquisitive, finding and relating mystery as he uncovers it and, in the process, furthering the jazz tradition. Bravo.” – All Music Guide