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Trio 3 & Vijay Iyer: Wiring

Trio 3-alto saxophonist Oliver Lake, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Andrew Cyrille-is one of jazz’s tightest, most self-contained units, but the players have long shown themselves open and flexible enough to accommodate the contributions of gifted guest artists, especially pianists. This set, featuring Vijay Iyer, continues in that tradition.

Like Trio 3’s regular members, Iyer journeys “inside” and “outside” with equal facility. Warm, humorous, cryptic and declamatory in turn, he alternates unison melody lines with percussive chording before breaking into solos that dance within, above, below and parallel to the main theme; his improvisations gather energy and tension by using the silence between notes as a rhythm instrument unto itself. Lake’s tone is taut and acid-tinged, but he’s also capable of sardonic humor (as on “The Prowl,” the set’s opener) and a tenderness all the more affecting for being devoid of sentimentality (exemplified by his breathy, prayer-like murmurs in the collective improv “Rosmarie”). Cyrille is a master of unforced propulsion, texturally complex even when he’s straight-ahead, intermixing with Workman’s sinewy lines and serpentine arco moans.

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