Vijay Iyer, piano; Rudresh Mahanthappa, saxophone
“Years from now, listeners surely will marvel at one of the great partnerships in jazz: saxophonist RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA and pianist VIJAY IYER. Each has gone a long way toward infusing the music with elements of South Indian culture. Together, they have pointed jazz in a new direction—or at least developed Eastern elements that long have been dormant in the music.” – Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune
“They effortlessly traverse traditions, their materials repeatedly coiling with the tensions of Indian scales and unraveling with forward rhythmic motion… Iyer and Mahanthappa create compelling music.” – Bill Shoemaker, JazzTimes
It’s no exaggeration to describe pianist Vijay Iyer and alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa as two of the most celebrated young American jazz artists working today. In the past decade, these two visionary, award-winning innovators have gained tremendous recognition from critics, audiences, and musicians alike as world-class improvisers and composers, outspoken young Asian American voices, and important forces in the music world.
Since 1996, alongside simultaneous vibrant solo careers, Iyer and Mahanthappa have worked together constantly as a duo, performing their wildly inventive, collaborative music to widespread acclaim around the world. Time Out New York called the album RAW MATERIALS “their most striking collaboration yet. A series of confident duets, the set combines stateliness with rawness… It’s like seeing two sides of the same coin.” All About Jazz hailed the disc as “a total triumph from beginning to end.”
Both sons of immigrants from India, Iyer and Mahanthappa are at the forefront of a new generation of American jazz musicians who explore their cultural heritage through their music. From the frontiers of New York City’s creative landscape, they synthesize Asian, African, and European musical elements to create original music that is simultaneously state-of-the-art, timeless, and beyond category.
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