NYC's The Village Vanguard reopened for the first time in 2022 on this past Tuesday (1/25) with a run of shows from pianist Vijay Iyer, bassist Linda May Han Oh, and drummer Tyshawn Sorey. Their short residency runs through Sunday (1/30), with two sets each night, an early one at 8pm and the late one at 10pm. The three artists are together again on the heels of last year's Uneasy, which we named one of 12 great jazz albums from 2021. Beginning Tuesday's early show with a few remarks, Iyer mentioned that they recorded Uneasy in 2019, and that a lot has happened since then, so their set would draw upon that work as well as other material. For the next hour, the trio played a beautiful set filled with a dynamic range of feelings. Early on, I heard notes comprising the melody of “Overjoyed” by Stevie Wonder, perhaps reflecting their sentiment at being able to perform live music in spite of challenging conditions.

The audience was completely respectful throughout the set and kept silent, other than occasional applause as Iyer, Oh and Sorey took us on a journey. We could dig in and appreciate watching this artistry unfold as the three, all amazing individual musicians, wove together seamlessly in a stirring blend of notes. While I have listened to their album a great deal since it came out last spring, nothing is an adequate substitute for observing the real deal happening live.

At the conclusion of the set, Iyer thanked the audience for coming and encouraged us to return for a subsequent set, promising that no two sets would be identical. The trio will be there another four nights so that’s eight more opportunities to catch these virtuosos in action. Tickets are on sale now.

See pictures from Tuesday's set by Ellen Qbertplaya below.

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