New album “Reimagining” set for May 17

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Santa Monica, CA—Savoy Jazz is proud to announce the signing of pianist and composer Vijay Iyer to a multi-album deal. The acclaimed self-taught musician has recorded an album with his working quartet that includes long-time collaborators Rudresh Mahanthappa on alto saxophone and Stephan Crump on bass, and 18-year-old phenom Marcus Gilmore behind the drums. The new project, a set of original Iyer compositions and a striking take on John Lennon’s “Imagine” is set for release May 17, 2005.

“Reimagining” is Vijay’s first project for Savoy Jazz and he arrives at the label a full-fledged heavyweight player in the jazz arena. The new album is the follow-up to his simultaneous release in fall 2003 of two much-talked-about discs, “Blood Sutra” and “In What Language?” His quartet album “Blood Sutra” was the highest-ranking independent release in the Jazz Times year-end critics poll. Jazziz wrote: “Not simply a great jazz record, “Blood Sutra” is a statement of purpose from an artist whose youth stands in contrast to his irrefutable skill. Vijay’s universally acclaimed collaboration with poet Mike Ladd, the musical tour de force “In What Language,” chronicles the immigrant experience in a post-9/11 world. Rolling Stone Magazine called “In What Language” “compelling, provocative …and eloquent” and the major British magazine Jazzwise bestowed it with the honor of “Album of the Year “ for 2004.

Iyer brings a fresh perspective to the jazz idiom with a musical palette that blends African, Asian and European influences and extends beyond to the worlds of hip-hop, dance and poetry. At the relatively young age of 33, Vijay has won critical accolades across the board and received prestigious prizes such as the 2003 Alpert Award in the Arts and was noted as “Up and Coming Artist of the Year” at the Eighth Annual Jazz Awards. He recently joined the highly regarded rosters of Music and Art Management (DJ Spooky, Carl Hancock Rux), and the booking agency Unlimited Myles, Inc. (Stefon Harris, Chris Potter, Maria Schneider).

Says Vijay Iyer, “It’s exciting, validating and humbling to be signed to the Savoy Jazz label, which has had such a major role in American music. This affiliation underscores my connection to the traditions of jazz and popular music, and to innovative giants like Bird and Coltrane, on whose shoulders I stand. As the son of immigrants from India, I’m really honored to have my music embraced by such a classic American label. Viewed in that light, the fact that I’m on Savoy Jazz tells an interesting story about what America is today.
Says Steve Vining, President of the Savoy Label Group, “I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Vijay to the Savoy family. He’s an amazingly accomplished musician with a fresh and vital perspective that pushes the boundaries of the genre. Adding such a talent to our roster further enhances the legacy of the label.”

With the signing of Vijay Iyer, Savoy Jazz continues its commitment to nurturing vital jazz talent. The early part of 2005 will also see a new release from Ravi Coltrane and a memorial project dedicated to the late Bob Berg produced by Grammy-nominated artist Jason Miles. Savoy’s relaunch in 2004 saw the release of critically acclaimed albums by Andy Bey, James Moody, Hubert Laws and Fly, featuring Mark Turner, Larry Grenadier and Jeff Ballard.