Pianist Viay Iyer and the musician he has described as his “hero, friend and teacher”, trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith.
Vijay has previously played extensively with Wadada in Smith’s Golden Quartet, but the present album is the first documentation of their duo work, produced by Manfred Eicher at New York’s Avatar Studios in October 2015. The centre-piece of the album is the spellbinding title suite, dedicated to Nasreen Mohamedi (1937-1990), the innovative Indian artist whose improvisatory imagery evokes abstracted rhythms. Trumpet and piano interact here with creative sensitivity to tone, texture and space.
Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith will be premiering a cosmic rhythm with each stroke at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in March 2016 in the context of a major exhibition dedicated to Nasreen Mohamedi’s art and writings. The “suite for Nasreen” is framed on the album by Iyer’s composition “Passage” and Smith’s concluding piece “Marian Anderson”, inspired by the great US contralto.
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