Vijay Iyer Mystic Brew

As a possible reply to Blimpy’s recent Polar Bear post, here are cover versions of Ronnie Foster’s Mystic Brew and M.I.A.’s Galang by Vijay Iyer’s piano trio from their new album, Historicity. I wouldn’t necessarily call it post jazz, but it’s certainly exploring new ground, and I like it a lot.I also like the way Vijay apparently first heard the Ronnie Foster track as a sample in ATCQ’s Electric Relaxation.

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16 thoughts on “Vijay Iyer Mystic Brew

  1. i thought these were ace by the way – and i’m always intrigued to hear of new ground being explored. I have Galang on 7″, and quite frankly this version is a lot lot better. More like this please, Nilp!!

  2. Cheers Blimpy! I’ve got Vijay’s album on order, looking forward to hearing it in full. (It is on Spotify, but the ads bug me too much to want to listen to whole albums.)

    Re similar stuff, there’s a new Christian Prommer’s Drum Lesson album out (his cover of Plastic Dreams was my RR top tune of 2008), which I may post something from soon- still getting into it though.

  3. Added Trans Europa Express as covered by Christian Prommer’s Drum Lesson, just to check that I can do an audio player.

  4. Loved the Prommer – now that’s what I call a cover. Been listening to a lot of Paul Motian lately, after hearing a radio review on his new releases. He’s an amazing jazz drummer, very few solos, more brushes & textured atmospheric stuff.

    Also you might want to check out the Chris Knox charity album – Stroke. It has contributions from The Chills, The Bats & other NZ bands, along with many other indie illuminati.

  5. Agree about Motian, he is fantastic. I saw him sometime in the nineties here with Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel, totally unassuming but absolutely compelling to listen to. Incredible to think he was part of the legendary 1961 Bill Evans piano trio with Scott la Faro, and yet is still among the best around today.

    Thanks for mentioning Stroke- I actually came across it by accident in January for the Forgetting theme, looking for a clip of the Tall Dwarfs I’ve left memories behind. A very fine compilation and a worthy cause given Knox’s importance to the indie scene in NZ and elsewhere.

  6. Finally getting around to checking these out, any version of Mystic Brew is going to be great, as long as that bass riff is kept. Maybe the fact that he first heard it as a sample makes sure he keeps it extra boom bap-ish.
    Love the version of Galang too.

  7. Thanks guys!
    Ejay, I’m not normally one for monograms but I think I need a T-shirt with the legend “keep it extra boom bap-ish”.

    Iyer was a physics student before he discovered music; not wanting to make it seem too sterile but I think there’s something fractal-like about Mystic Brew, with the double-timing compressing the beat and melody into fractions of itself. And there’s also an irrepressible sense of the beat being allowed to break out from the initial marching rhythm, which is nice when heard next to Foster’s smouldering original, where the organ ratchets up the bpm but the rhythm instruments stay mid-tempo.

    With Galang I like the way he highlights the off-kilterness of the harmony, making it seem almost like a Monk composition, and the roughly bowed bass fits perfectly with the precisely percussive piano and the rolling drum breaks.

  8. Incidentally I think it’s really sweet the way Ejay’s published email address looks like Ejay, dear

    In future I can say things like

    Ejay, dear, would you mind awfully dropping me some Ahmad Jamal?

    You are a treasure!

  9. I’m rocking out to some Prommer on spotify just now – or should that be JAZZING OUT?! really loud too, it’s only a brief matter fo time before i get shouted at

    “Get back in the fridge daddio, I’m having a total jazz out just now, dig?”

  10. Technically speaking, you were “chin-stroking out to some Prommer.”

    Ejay, be a darl and lend Blimpy one of your gorgeous funky frowns.

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