Music

Album Review| JAZZ

Vijay Iyer Trio, ‘Break Stuff’

MacArthur “genius” fellow, Harvard professor, and former Yale math and physics major Vijay Iyer returns to his 11-year-old trio for this, his third ECM disc after 2014’s chamber-music set “Mutations” and film-and-music project “Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi.” Like the pianist and composer’s other trio records, it makes for a satisfying, portable Iyer, alternating math-y rhythmic concoctions like the post-minimalist “Hood” (for the Detroit techno producer DJ Robert Hood) and “Mystery Woman” (which draws from the compound rhythms of South Indian music) with varied jazz standards (Thelonious Monk’s “Work,” John Coltrane’s “Countdown,” Billy Strayhorn’s “Blood Count”) and more atmospheric originals. Iyer, bassist Stephan Crump, and drummer Marcus Gilmore have fully incorporated electronica and hip-hop into a jazz vocabulary. Despite the album’s layered meters, you couldn’t ask for a more swinging “Work,” or a more moving solo-piano treatment of “Blood Count,” ending with a repetition of the questing opening phrase over somber low-register chords. With all of this band’s attention to rhythm, it’s nice to have an isolated example of Iyer’s sensitive voice leading, his beautiful touch and tone. (Out Tuesday)

Jon Garelick


Essential
“Blood Count”

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