Vijay Iyer & Rudresh Mahanthappa: Forgotten System
Raw Materials (Savoy Jazz SVY 17603)
Recorded: The Clubhouse, Rhinebeck, New York, October 4, 6, 2005
Rating: 87/100 (learn more)
These two musicians first met in 1995, introduced by Steve Coleman. Ten years later, Iyer and Mahanthappa demonstrated their compatible musical visions on the duet release Raw Materials. Iyer’s playing is brisk, free of clichés, and constantly probing. His left hand comping is especially interesting – a rolling, growling volcano that mostly lurks deep in the bass register. Mahanthappa plays right on top of the beat, a rat-a-tat-tat machine gun phraseology, that gives no quarter. You want smooth jazz, stick with Kenny G. If you’re willing to trod the un-smooth path, try a dose of Raw Materials.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia