Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer, Shahzad Ismaily: Tiny Desk Concert
Around the midpoint of Arooj Aftab, pianist Vijay Iyer and multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily's Tiny Desk concert as the trio Love in Exile, Aftab steeply intensifies her vocal outflow, generating a spirit of lift within the music. It's the cresting of a wave, in a sense, but no more inherently vital than the accumulating swell period, or the ensuing glide. For Aftab and her equal partners in the project, every musical offering arises from a slow-motion flutter of collective actions, which renders each passing moment unique.
That's a fanciful way of saying what the music invites you to understand at gut level: this group makes music strictly for the moment, creating a shared language in real time. As its members explained this spring, before the release of their entrancing self-titled debut, this highwire creative model is rooted in acute listening and mutual trust. Whatever the gesture — when Iyer plays a somber, strobing figure on Fender Rhodes piano, for example, or Ismaily wobbles a line on electric bass — it can be seen as an invitation. This performance, a marvel of concision by Love in Exile standards, extends a similar courtesy to any receptive ear.
TINY DESK TEAM
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