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iTunes Review

2008’s Tragicomic gives the listener a good idea of the breadth of pianist and composer Vijay Iyer's activities. Four tracks are from the suite, Tragicomic, which was commissioned by Chamber Music America, and a couple of cuts are from his score to Rachel Dickstein and Ripe Time’s theater/dance piece, Betrothed. He covers Bud Powell’s “Comin’ Up” and plays solo on the Mickey Leonard standard, “I’m All Smiles.” One piece is attributed to Iyer and his telepathic band — alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, bassist Stephan Crump, and drummer Marcus Gilmore — and there are three other Iyer originals. The musicians draw from several sources, with bop, John Coltrane, Indian music, Latin touches and other elements coming into play. The edgy “Macaca Please” sounds like a seamless fusion of Indian music and angular jazz-rock, while Iyer’s solo version of “I’m All Smiles” displays an unusual touch at the keyboard. Tragicomic closes strongly with “Becoming,” a piece for piano trio that evokes the spiritual and oceanic sound of A Love Supreme-period Coltrane.

Customer Reviews

thoughful and engaging

I like the variation in this album, despite the minimalistic instrumentation. Tracks like Thenody and The Weight of Things are more moody, where things pick up more in Machine Days, Macaca Please, Coming Up. Window Text and Without Lions were nice, even keeled pieces. I am a big fan of some more experimental jazz, and this album resonated for me as well- not on quite the same level as some other artists, but I find it to be very thoughtful and engaging nonetheless- can't wait to see what he does next!

It was ok

there was a little to much piano work for me. I like jazz that just flows and is relaxing.


Born: October 26, 1971 in Albany, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Born in 1971 to parents who emigrated from India to the U.S. in the '60s, Bay Area-based composer and pianist Vijay Iyer has led several distinct combos, including Spirit Complex, the Poisonous Prophets, and the Vijay Iyer Trio. All three groups appeared on the musician's 1995 debut on Asian Improv, Memorophilia, a collection fusing jazz forms with the rhythms of South Asian music. In addition to working to create interactive software for improvised musical performance, Iyer worked frequently with...
Full Bio
Tragicomic, Vijay Iyer
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Apr 22, 2008

Customer Ratings