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Vijay Iyer/Wadada Leo Smith: a cosmic rhythm with each stroke

a cosmic rhythm with each stroke (ECM)

This certainly isn’t the first time Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith have worked together-their partnership in Smith’s Golden Quartet goes back years-but it is their first duo recording, and an unusual one too. Its centerpiece is the seven-part title suite, which was inspired by the work of Indian abstract artist Nasreen Mohamedi (1937-1990) and received its live premiere at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art during an historic exhibition of her work. Iyer’s brooding “Passage” starts the album and Smith’s “Marian Anderson” ends it with an air of wounded nobility, but “a cosmic rhythm with each stroke” is clearly the main event.

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