Vijay Iyer’s Life in Music: “Striving is the Back Story…”: "Vijay Iyer brings rare stuff to jazz piano, starting with a Brahmin Indian name and heritage, and a Yale degree in physics. Gujarati stick dances and Bhajan devotional songs from Northern India are in his blood, well mixed by now with the pop sounds of a boyhood in Rochester, New York: Prince and James Brown, then Miles and Monk. He brings also — to his Birdland debut this Spring, and to his new CD, Historicity — bassist Stephan Crump and the drum prodigy Marcus Gilmore, who just happens to be the grandson of the last living drum giant of the Forties, the eternally experimental Roy Haynes. But the sum of Vijay Iyer’s gifts is more exciting than any of the parts. He brings to improvisational music, most of all, the aura of an art starting fresh, just beginning — not looking back, much less winding down.
I just tried to share this item from Reader but I didn't get quite the effect I expected. The item was shared only to my followers, it was stripped of a URL in the comment text, and I can't find how to post-edit it. I guess the default for more privacy is better than the alternatives, but I'd like a centralized place to edit and tweak access control for all items I post from any Google property (Blogger, Reader, Buzz). I hope it happens.
Now for the item. This was one of the best Chris Lydon interviews in a long while, the music snippets were wonderful, and it made me look forward even more to Iyer's trio visit to this Fall's SF Jazz Festival.