Vijay Iyer Sextet, “Wake,” from Far From Over
Thanks largely to the brilliant interplay between Vijay Iyer and his remarkably cohesive sextet, the pianist’s latest release for ECM sparkles from start to finish. With Iyer and horn players Graham Haynes, Steve Lehman and Mark Shim undergirded by the potent rhythm team of drummer Tyshawn Sorey and double-bassist Stephan Crump, the band moves with grace and style through 10 Iyer-composed tracks. An accessible album that nonetheless embraces complexity and depth, Far From Over documents the restless state of a skilled and disciplined band reveling in an expansive, free-spirited and deeply satisfying approach to music-making. —David Pulizzi
“Wake,” our Song of the Day, paints a sparse sonic landscape inhabited by raspy ambient whispers, ominous bass drones and murmuring piano. The music creates space for the mind to wander, but the energy is focused and intense, resulting in a kind of dialed-in meditative state. Iyer and his bandmates conjure a swirling musical atmosphere that is both totally unpredictable and wholly encompassing. It’s a rolling fog you might enjoy getting lost in.