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Vijay Iyer, Linda May Han Oh, Tyshawn Sorey – Compassion (2024) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Vijay Iyer, Linda May Han Oh, Tyshawn Sorey – Compassion (2024)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:05:32 minutes | 1,17 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © ECM Records

Pianist Vijay Iyer, bassist Linda May Han Oh, and drummer Tyshawn Sorey recorded their debut, Uneasy, shortly before the pandemic hit the United States, receiving critical acclaim upon its release in 2021. Compassion, the acoustic trio’s follow-up, finds the three musicians in top form again. Iyer wrote all of the material except for Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed,” Roscoe Mitchell’s “Nonaah,” and one other track. Sorey is a lauded composer, and Oh’s releases as a leader feature her fine compositions, but the pair’s extraordinary improvisatory and interpretive skills are what’s on display here.

The title of “Arch” refers to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the well-known South African anti-apartheid activist. The cut is an example of how inventive this rhythm section can be: Oh’s playing is strikingly expressive throughout the range of her instrument, and Sorey’s drumming is marked by accents that enliven the music’s flow. Iyer can be quietly impressionistic or let loose dense, forceful passages that bear traces of McCoy Tyner.

“It Goes” was originally composed to accompany an Eve L. Ewing poem that imagines a warm encounter with Emmett Till had he lived into adulthood rather than being lynched at 14. This wordless version works nicely as a solo piano piece, one with a gentle bounce evocative of Erik Satie.

Compassion closes strongly with its most electric track, “Free Spirits/Drummer’s Song.” Penned by the late saxophonist John Stubblefield, it is a catchy, hard-driving slice of post-bop that clearly energized the group. Later, “Drummer’s Song,” by the late pianist Geri Allen, emerges. The band really blasts off as they dig into Allen’s irresistible hook: Sorey’s drumming brims with ever-shifting details and a thrilling sense of propulsion, and Iyer’s tension-and-release moves are gripping.

Tracklist:
1-1. Vijay Iyer – Compassion (04:50)
1-2. Vijay Iyer – Arch (06:13)
1-3. Vijay Iyer – Overjoyed (07:52)
1-4. Vijay Iyer – Maelstrom (04:36)
1-5. Vijay Iyer – Prelude: Orison (03:43)
1-6. Vijay Iyer – Tempest (06:24)
1-7. Vijay Iyer – Panegyric (06:30)
1-8. Vijay Iyer – Nonaah (02:32)
1-9. Vijay Iyer – Where I Am (05:44)
1-10. Vijay Iyer – Ghostrumental (06:38)
1-11. Vijay Iyer – It Goes (03:09)
1-12. Vijay Iyer – Free Spirits / Drummer’s Song (07:14)

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