Vijay Iyer — Piano
Craig Taborn — Piano
Vijay Iyer and Craig Taborn‘s “The Transitory Poems”, recorded at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest on March 12, 2018—exactly one year before their performance at Roulette—was produced by label founder Manfred Eicher. It will be released on March 15, 2019.
Composer-pianist Vijay Iyer was named Downbeat Magazine’s Jazz Artist of the Year for 2012, 2015, 2016, and 2018 and Artist of the Year in Jazz Times‘ Critics’ Poll and Readers’ Poll for 2017. He received a 2013 MacArthur Fellowship, a 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, and a 2011 Grammy nomination. He has released twenty-one albums, the most recent of which are on ECM: Far From Over with the Vijay Iyer Sextet, which topped numerous polls and was cited by Rolling Stone as “2017’s jazz album to beat”; A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke with Wadada Leo Smith, named “Best New Music” by Pitchfork; Break Stuff with the Vijay Iyer Trio; the score to the film Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi by filmmaker Prashant Bhargava; and Holding it Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project (Pi Recordings) with poet-performer Mike Ladd, named Album of the Year in the Los Angeles Times.
Born in Detroit in 1970, Craig Taborn first earned international notice as a member of saxophonist James Carter’s ensembles. In the late ’90s, he played regularly with Roscoe Mitchell, along with leading his own groups; and by the next decade, the keyboardist was heard collaborating with Tim Berne, Chris Potter, Dave Holland, among others. Taborn first appeared on ECM as a member of Mitchell’s ensembles and subsequently on recordings led by David Torn, Evan Parker, Ches Smith, and Michael Formanek. He made his ECM leader debut in 2011 with an album of solo piano, Avenging Angel, which The New York Times called “a brilliant and unpredictable study informed by contemporary classical music as well as several currents of improvisation. It’s a sit-up-and-take-notice statement.” Then came Chants, a trio disc with bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Gerald Cleaver, described by DownBeat as being without “borders, or ordinary structures, or typical narrative flow. The songs are positively shimmering, immaculately detailed, prismatic and very improvisational… They flutter and spiral, bend and float, and constantly surprise.” In 2017 he released Daylight Ghosts, referred to as “spellbinding” by the Los Angeles Times.
The independent record label ECM—Edition of Contemporary Music—was founded by producer Manfred Eicher in Munich in 1969, and to date has issued more than 1500 albums spanning many idioms. Emphasising improvisation from the outset, ECM established its reputation with standard-setting recordings by Keith Jarrett, Paul Bley, Jan Garbarek, Chick Corea, Gary Burton, the Art Ensemble of Chicago and many more and began to include contemporary composition—including Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians and Meredith Monk Dolmen Music—in its programme in the late 1970s and early 80s.