The Vijay Iyer Trio has announced a new album that's due in February and shared the flowing, piano-driven "Compassion" as an early single.
Earlier this year, Vijay Iyer teamed up with Arooj Aftab and Shahzad Ismaily for the glowing, ethereal, ambient jazz album Love in Exhile, but the last we heard from Iyer's trio was for 2021's phenomenal Uneasy (one of my favorites from that year). Now, the trio has announced a new album, Compassion, and dropped the title-track along with it. Eased in by easy brushes on cymbals and a snare drum, the song slowly takes shape as Iyer's lilting piano drapes over the song with crystalline fidelity, sharply tuned and under cut by stealth-like bass. It's a cascading song that ebbs and flows with rhythm and maintains a sturdy elegance throughout. When speaking on the title, Iyer states: "The unease I experience making art in times of suffering never goes away, nor should it; that tension shapes the creative process at every stage. Its counterpart, the response to its call, is the rejuvenating feeling of making music with, for and among people. I am endlessly inspired by Tyshawn and Linda… We developed this music on stage, out in the world, in spaces of community and encounter."
Compassion is out February 2.