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Album review: 'The Transitory Poems'

by

Vijay Iyer and Craig Taborn

'The Transitory Poems'

ECM

vijay-iyer.com

When two fascinating people converse, a great dialogue can result. The same came be said for a musical conversation between two exceptional pianists. "The Transitory Poems" is the result of just such a dialogue between Vijay Iyer and Craig Taborn. The live piano duo performance took place in the concert hall of the Franz List Academy of Music in Budapest last year.

All of the compositions here are improvised from start to finish. Though they lack heads, as well as the catchy melodic themes of songs, wonderful things can emerge from the musical primordial soup. For instance, "Meshwork/Libation (When Kabuya Dances)" begins abstractly and proceeds to build into a complex exploration of rhythm and harmony, showcasing the symbiotic relationship between the pianists. Other pieces are dedicated to recently deceased piano greats, including avant-garde icon Muhal Richard Abrams and Cecil Taylor, who supplied the album's title.