Solo

Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
Buy On
  1. Mostly, Iyer defies comparison other than in convincing you that he belongs in august company. If this first solo recital was a historical test, then Vijay Iyer gets an A.
  2. Solo is Iyer's grand statement, and with it he has fulfilled his promise.
  3. To make so many overt references to his musical heroes while never losing sight of himself speaks to Iyer's own command. His improvisations have such clarity and vision, and it's rare that he stretches things any longer than necessary.
  4. It's easy to hear what Iyer means when listening to Solo, his latest disc. For sheer cohesion, it tops Historicity, and since he's alone at the piano throughout, his reflective streak is telegraphed.
  5. Fourteen years on from his debut as leader, Vijay Iyer joins the club with a characteristic blend of tasteful tribute and exciting unorthodoxy.
  6. Iyer structures this programme cannily, beginning with an inviting interpretation of the pop ballad Human Nature, unfolding over a rocking left-hand vamp and briefly darkening into a hypnotic drone.
  7. It's more serious than many, both in programming and in execution. But it doesn't quite make solo piano a stand-alone concept equal to what he does with groups.
  8. The Wire
    80
    One of his purely enjoyable recordings. [Sep 2010, p.68]
  9. Solo ultimately reveals little we didn't already know about Vijay Iyer as a pianist, but to hear him explore these facets of his sound on his own, with no one to lean on, is still interesting. The central suite is where the album and the artist truly shine.
  10. He can clearly make a piano do just about anything he wants it to, and Solo is a project that puts the thought that went into its construction right up in your face, but it's never breathtaking in the way a truly great solo piano performance can be.
  11. Uncut
    60
    There's an intriguing version of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" and tunes by Monk and Ellington alongside originals that lurch from freaky modernism to stately classical. [Oct 2010, p.108]

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