“Break Stuff” is the latest album by pianist Vijay Iyer and his trio, the mesmerizing bassist Stephan Crump and the ebullient drummer Marcus Gilmore. It’s Vijay’s third album on the Munich-based ECM label and was produced by its founder, Manfred Eicher.
“The stuff that happens in the breaks”, that’s what the album is about according to the leader and so he brought that concept onto the stage last night at Neukölln’s Heimathafen where he played four longer stretches of pieces woven together, and deconstructing the motives and melodies of his compositions. In the brooding “Hood”, bassist Stephan Crump was playing a trance-like solo which was one of the show’s highlights.
In his playing, the pianist moves the rhythm changes in all directions; he is able to lure you with his right hand only, playing repetitive patterns which later turn into elegant structures. These ostinato patterns occur here and there during the performance, and are broken apart again by Gilmore’s polyrhythmic playing. At some point, he used several layers of tonality into his compositions and then went back to playing an almost rubato solo cadence that was highly enjoyable. As was the whole evening.
Stephan Crump has his own groups like the Rosetta Trio and Super Eight,a duo project with the guitarist Mary Halvorson. Marcus Gilmore has played with Chick Corea or Gonzalo Rubalcaba and is the grandson of legendary drummer Roy Haynes who recently celebrated his 90th birthday. “Break Stuff” will also be available on vinyl at the end of May.
The Vijay Iyer Trio is on a short tour through Europe and plays New York’s Jazz Standard April 22-26.
3/19 Budapest, Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music
3/20 Gdansk, Klub Zak
3/21 Bergamo, Auditorium di Piazza Libertà
3/22 Messina, Palacultura Antonello da Messina