Vijay Iyer with Prasanna & Nitin Mitta – Tirtha
I was first introduced to Vijay Iyer through his work with Mike Ladd. As a duo, they release two fantastic jazz/hip hop/spoken word hybrid albums; “In What Language” and “Still Life with Commentator.” Ever since, I have collected all of his work; solo, with trios & quartets and in the group Fieldwork. Iyer is probably my favorite modern jazz artists. His sound is modern but with a classic sensibility and I love the fact that he experiments. The albums he did with Mike Ladd are prime examples of his willingness to work outside the box.
With Tirtha, Iyer quickly returns after blessing us with “Solo” late last year. On this new album, he is accompanied by guitarist Prasanna and Tabla player Nitin Mitta. The music here is rooted in Indian music as much as is it Jazz, but also with a little touch of rock and even an occasional funky rhythm. The songs are complex and the music intertwines and swirls around in a free-flowing wash of color. While Iyer’s piano and, Prasanna’s guitar are the drivers here, Mitta’s Tabla’s are the perfect companion to their playing. The guitars and piano play off of one another throughout the album, but the tabla never falls behind, its right there throughout, complementing the overall sound
This is really a fine record and an excellent addition to Iyers already stellar discography.