Vijay Iyer Sextet
"Far From Over"
Jazz thrives on the energy of the moment, but the more players there are in a band, the more organization it demands, leaving that vital spontaneity in jeopardy. Despite the complexity of the music on Vijay Iyer Sextet's "Far From Over," the in-the-moment, wild spirit comes through loud and clear. Iyer's music ranges from funk ("Nope" and "Into Action") through avant-garde ("End of the Tunnel" and "Threnody") and elegiac ("For Amiri Baraka") to ... let's just say Iyer paints with the whole palette.
On piano and Fender Rhodes, Iyer also brilliantly covers a wide swath of territory stylistically. The horn players pulling off that precise punctuation with a freewheeling feeling are Graham Haynes on cornet and flugelhorn (and electronics); Steve Lehman, alto sax; and Mark Shim, tenor sax. All contribute superb solos, sometimes all at once. The rhythm section of Stephan Crump on bass and Tyshawn Sorey, drums, couldn't be better. Iyer (who grew up in Fairport) has already won almost every major award, but this is his best album yet.