IYER SIGNS WITH SAVOY JAZZ
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.