In the disc’s liner notes, Iyer stresses the importance of music as an agent for social change and cites a quotation from composer-trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith (who will join Iyer for the MusicNOW program): “[The function of music] is to transform an observer’s life in just an instant, so that when they go back to the routine part of living, they carry with them a little bit of something else. In a time of fierce urgency and precarity, this unnamed something else … that music brings forth into the world feels as crucial as ever.”
“Far From Over” already is receiving critical acclaim. “If you’re looking for the shape of jazz to come, here it is … the sturdiness of its design and the passion of its execution make [‘Far From Over’] 2017’s jazz album to beat,” writes Hank Shteamer in Rolling Stone. And in Jazzwise magazine, John Murph observes: ” ‘Far From Over’ arrests on so many levels that at times the energy and varying emotional pulses seem nearly uncontainable.”
Named Downbeat magazine’s Artist of the Year in 206, 2015 and 2012, Iyer has performed with varying incarnations of his sextet since 2011. Its members are Graham Haynes (cornet, flugelhorn, electronics), Steve Lehman (alto saxophone), Mark Shim (tenor saxophone), Stephan Crump (double bass) and Tyshawn Sorey (drums, cymbals). Six years in the making, “Far From Over” was recorded in April 2017 in New York City, with legendary producer Manfred Eicher.
VIDEO: The Vijay Iyer Sextet this summer at the Ojai Music Festival (begins at the 34-minute mark):
TOP: Vijay Iyer Sextet. | Photo: Lynne Harty/ECM