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Vijay Iyer Sextet: Intelligent jazz by Harvard professor

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With the title song from his latest cd started, Vijay Iyer, with a highlight, because ‘Far from over’ is compelling, with a strong melody where the piercing look in his alto sax of Steve Lehmann so beautiful is predominant.

The sextet played mainly pieces from that critically acclaimed cd. It is remarkable how this jazz simultaneously accessible and avant-garde is, and how intelligent every composition is put together. But that should come as no surprise from a man who has university degrees in mathematics and physics in his pocket and that since four years as professor in the arts’ at Harvard University goes through life.

When Iyer but switched to the electric piano and Graham Haynes solo on flugelhorn combined with electronic effects, was the spirit of Miles Davis back in the festivaltent. Especially when just after ‘Nope’ followed, a funky piece that allows you to spontaneously go meewiegen.

Iyer also played two pieces in a trio, moments in which new drummer Jeremy Dutton, was able to excel with what he did in the drum solo that followed and that on bright cheers and was received.
And then the sextet returned for another funky piece.

Iyer, most recently by the American magazine Downbeat named musician of the year, gave his audience a message: ‘Keep fighting for justice.’

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