Pianist Vijay Iyer’s “Tirtha” (ACT Music + Vision), which is a Saskrit word meaning a holy place centered around a pond, lake or stream where the water is also considered holy buzzes with multilayered sounds and plays like a particularly evocative soundtrack. With Prasanna on guitar and voice, and Nitin Mitta on tabla, Iyer composes an even-tempered tableau of music, perhaps spiritual in connotation but airy and mystical in its execution.
|Photo: Jimmy Katz|
The tunes, especially “Duality” and “Tribal Wisdom” are naturally propulsive with escalating grooves and circular rhythms that float freely, moving back and forth between players. The tracks have metaphorical titles like “Abundance" and “Gauntlet,” but they gleam with an after-hours pulse and while the dynamics are restrained, Iyer lays down memorably moody solos that expand and contract over the steady thrum of his band mates. Recorded in 2008, “Tirtha” may not make a major statement but it sounds every bit as current as Iyer’s previous outings albeit with a metaphysical edge. (9 tracks; 60:38 minutes)
Labels: ACT Music + Vision, Nitin Mitta, Prasanna, Vijay Iyer