Vijay Iyer Trio at Rochester International Jazz Festival

Considering the D&C's Spevak wrote that you will have to sell your first born to get into Vijay Iyer Trio, the line for the 6 o'clock show was approachable at just past four so we hung in there. We took an unfortunate position between the rows of port-o-potties on Barrett Place. We brought dinner and a beer and made the best of it. We chatted with passers-by and took some constructive criticism from Hal about the roundabout path to my jazz fest entries.

Downbeat's "Jazz Artist of the Year," Vijay was studying violin when he grew up in Rochester and his entire family was in the house tonight. Despite the line, we were able to score front row seats in the mad dash. WXXI was doing a dry run before recording the 10 o'clock show so there were cameramen all around us.

Stephan Crump, who was just at the Bop Shop with his own group, was on bass and Marcus Gilmore on drums. They ran a string of tunes together and didn't come up for air for a half hour. The trio is recording an album in a few days and they did a song from it, a Monk tune called "Work" and a tune off of "Accelerando." Gilmore played with amazing, military precision but I was knocked out by the interplay between piano and bass. Iyer goes from delicate and melodic to rollicking and Crump not only complements but re-shapes the dialog. His bass solo was beautiful and a gorgeous ballad that Iyer wrote for his wife knocked us out.

photo by P Doddy - click photo to advance > next