Vijay Iyer & Wadada Leo Smith: A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke

Here’s a summit meeting between two sensitive spirits that also have a sense of adventure. Pianist Vijay Iyer teams with outside trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith for an album with a seven part suite as its major focal point. The suite is dedicated to Indian artist Nasreen Mohamedi, with Iyer adding intermittent electronics to the spatial and fervent acoustic piano.

The bookending “Passage” and “Marian Anderson” set the tone with quietly undulating sounds emanating from Smith’s horn, almost like listening to the sunrise. The seven pieces are at times ambient as on “All Becomes Alike” and other times passionate and communicative as on “Labyrinths” and “A Divine Courage.” Smith can be clarion clear with his sweet and pungent tone, while using slurs and squawks for emotional effect. Not quite ambient, and not quite “Weather Bird” but charming all on its own.

ECM Records

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