Vijay Iyer: piano, Fender Rhodes, electronics; Wadada Leo Smith: trumpet.
When the highly sensitive chords and textures created by the pianist Vijay Iyer meet the pungent trumpet melodies of Wadada Leo Smith, there are uncanny sensations floating in the air.
“Passage” displays a melodic cry over a dramatic foundation that inhabits between the beautiful and the dark.
In “All Becomes Alive”, Iyer makes use of electronic components, introducing a 2-note bass ostinato. In turn, Smith exposes his impressive technique through exquisite and precise melodic phrases. This song becomes enchantingly percussive in its final section.
Mysterious tones created by Iyer involve “The Empty Mind Receives”, where Smith uses a trumpet mute to express himself slowly and clearly.
“Labyrinths” is a spontaneous avant-garde incursion that makes justice to its title, entangling us in grandiose piano/trumpet explorations.
Spaceships, planets, and distant galaxies came to my mind in “A Divine Courage”, whose ominous vibes in the background give place to a ravishing cinematic atmosphere.
“Notes on Water”, despite the tranquilizing start and Iyer’s residual accompaniment on Fender Rhodes, evolves into a mesmerizing crescendo where Smith’s attacks can be compared to tumults of temper and emotion.
In this haunting achievement, minimalism and virtuosity are deeply interconnected.
01 – Passage ► 02 – All Becomes Alive ► 04 – Labyrinths