Pianist and composer Vijay Iyer takes another creative leap with his latest album Compassion.
Compassion is Iyer’s eighth release as a leader for ECM Records. The recording follows his acclaimed 2021 album Uneasy, with which he debuted his trio featuring bassist Linda May Han Oh and drummer Tyshawn Sorey. It also follows his work with Arooj Aftab and Shahzad Ismaily on Love in Exile, the trio’s debut album released this year.
Watch the video for “Prelude: Orison” below:
The album includes an interpretation of Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed,” which Iyer selected as an indirect homage to the late Chick Corea. He also tips his cap to his mentor Roscoe Mitchell with a version of the avant-garde saxophonist’s composition “Nonaah.” It also features Iyer’s own originals inspired by admired figures including anti-apartheid activist Desmond Tutu and poet Eve L. Ewing, and historic events including the racist murder of Emmett Till.
“The unease I experience making art in times of suffering never goes away, nor should it — that tension shapes the creative process at every stage,” Iyer says. “Its counterpart, the response to its call, is the rejuvenating feeling of making music with, for, and among people. I am endlessly inspired by Tyshawn and Linda. We developed this music on stage, out in the world, in spaces of community and encounter.”
Here’s the track listing:
- Prelude: Orison
- Where I Am
- It Goes
- Free Spirits / Drummer’s Song
The Vijay Iyer Trio’s Compassion is out Feb. 2, 2024, via ECM Records.