Vijay Iyer Trio’s “Break Stuff” wins German Record Critics’ Album of the Year prize

By Matt Micucci

American pianist Vijay Iyer and his trio’s album Break Stuff won the German Record Critics’ Album of the Year prize. Along with Iyer on piano, the album features Stephan Crump on bass and Marcus Gilmore on drums.

Vijay Iyer was born in Albany, New York in 1971. He received classical training on violing from the age of three and began training on what would become his instrument of choice, the piano, by ear in his childhood.

He performs around the workd with ensembles and most frequently with the aforementioned trio. Before their latest album, Break Stuff, which was released earlier in 2015, the trio Vijay Iyer trio released Historicity in 2009 and Accelerando in 2012. Accelerando was voted no. 1 Jazz Album of the Year in 2010 by NPR, the Los Angeles Times, PopMatters and Amazon.com.

Break Stuff has received much critical praise, including a five star rating on Down Beat magazine. Now comes the German Record Critics’ Album of the Year prise.

The jury statement says: “Filigree ramifications and powerplay, high speed and slowness, harmony bliss and dissonance: out of contrasting elements the Vijay Iyer Trio shapes intense compositions, which draw from the history of jazz as well as from European concert music.”

The German Record Critics’ Award (“Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik”) was established in 1980 to set the “most rigorous standards for supreme achievement and quality” in the field of music recording. The German Record Critics’ Award Association consists of up to 156 music critics, writers, musicologists and editors in Germany, Austria and Switzerland actively involved in the assessment of CDs and DVDs.

Its mission is to provide producers, composers, artists and music lovers with an honest guide to new releases of true artistic significance.

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