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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Ojai Music Festival 2017 : Sunday, June 1,: 5:30pm -7:30pm

By Gustav Lindqvist

Vijay Iyer Sextet – Far From Over (Live).
Steve Lehman on alto sax
Mark Shim on tenor sax
Graham Haynes on cornet, flugelhorn
Stephan Crump on bass
Tyshawn Sorey on drums
Vijay Iyer on piano.

The ECM release of this sextet’s latest album Far From Over has been getting rave reviews. For me expectations were quite high when looking at the line-up which of course is spectacular. This is truly an all-star sextet. In terms of the album it didn’t disappoint, delivering musicianship of the highest order.

Troy reviewed the album back in September, and I will not dive into the details of the musicians in this ‘addendum’. I’d just like to add that there’s a very nice performance available on youtube, and embedded below on which Iyer, Music Director of the 2017 Ojai Music Festival, presents the complete album live with this great sextet. It’s a very different experience, in my opinion. I loved following the sextet in such a great shape performing the album.

As you may know the Ojai Music Festival gives a new music director the opportunity to ‘lead’ the festival each year, and in 2017 it was Vijay Iyer. It’s been like this since the inauguration of the festival in 1947. In addition, almost all concerts are available on the Ojai Music Festival youtube channel. Highly recommended! A list of links to the concerts can be found here. I’ve spent hours watching concerts this past couple of months.

Even though I really like the ECM release, I must admit that watching such a great sextet performing an entire album – even “just” on video – is a very rewarding experience and I find myself going to the video rather than listening to the album if I’m not on the move. Also, the level of collaboration and interplay seen on video is amazing. Iyer seems genuinely proud over the sextets performance, as he should.