Vijay Iyer Trio – ‘Uneasy’ on ECM
Uneasy, with Tyshawn Sorey and Linda May Han Oh, is Vijay Iyer’s second trio album on ECM and his seventh appearance as a leader on the label. Navigating from one shape-shifting idea to another, he continues to push boundaries from one album to the next. His unique musical approach has gained him many accolades and much praise from the international press, The New York Times summarizing his persona as a “social conscience, multimedia collaborator, system builder, rhapsodist, historical thinker and multicultural gateway.” On Uneasy, he draws on the history of the music while continuing to push it forward. In the course of this endeavour, the political and social turbulences dominating today’s American landscape are reflected in musical contemplation and tense space. In his liner notes, Vijay elaborates on how today “the word ‘uneasy’ feels like a brutal understatement, too mild for cataclysmic times. But maybe, since the word contains its own opposite, it reminds us that the most soothing, healing music is often born of and situated within profound unrest; and conversely, the most turbulent music may contain stillness, coolness, even wisdom.”
Uneasy portrays this cast’s first studio session after having played together throughout 2019 – Tyshawn and Vijay’s partnership even going back to 2002, when they recorded Vijay’s quartet album Blood Sutra. They’ve worked together frequently since, including on two of Vijay’s ECM releases: the live film score from 2014, Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi, and the landmark 2017 sextet album Far From Over. Linda May Han Oh is a more recent collaborator of Vijay’s, although their professional relationship has been developing for several years. A consistent guest faculty member of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music in Alberta, Canada, the bassist has become well acquainted with Vijay and Tyshawn, the workshop’s co-artistic directors.
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