Vijay Iyer at Temple M

Friday night found me in Harlem checking out the spectacular Vijay Iyer Trio.

Vijay Iyer

Vijay Iyer

My friend Allison turned me on to them and I was blown away. We trekked up to this new venue, Temple M, arriving way too early. So we headed down the street to Picante for a delicious repast of spicy Mexican food.  After dining we took a walk around the neighborhood before returning to Temple M, completely not expecting the space to be this delightful, warm, beautiful room with a balcony, comfortable couches and chairs and a mellow, welcoming vibe.

It was the perfect setting for an intimate jazz show. Iyer’s music is esoteric without being mathematical, adventurous and abstract but deeply emotional and passionate. His trio just goes, man. They take you on these beautiful journeys, digging into grooves and sonic wormholes and just when you think you can’t take it anymore, they pull back into something delicate and precise and give you some breathing room. Easily the best jazz I’ve heard in years. And as I said before, the vibe in Temple M is groovy. It is intimate and warm, the room is live and bouncy with rich acoustics, the place is hosted by this woman Leah and a French guy who also cooks and offers meals at a reasonable price to go along with the show. Imagine if a very stylish down-home couple turned their living room into Joe’s Pub and you can begin to dig the vibe.

I highly recommend checking out more of Vijay Iyer, I know I will be picking up some CDs and looking for more opportunities to enjoy the live experience. And I look forward to spending more time at Temple M, a hot new venue in Harlem.

Can you dig it? I knew you could.

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