A Cosmic Rhythm with Each Stroke - Vijay Iyer, Wadada Leo Smith, CD on ECM 2486, release date: 11.3.2016

ECM 2486@800

ECM 2486, 2016


a cosmic rhythm with each stroke features pianist Viay Iyer and the musician he has described as his “hero, friend and teacher”, trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. Vijay has previously played extensively with Wadada in Smith’s Golden Quartet, but the present album is the first documentation of their duo work, produced by Manfred Eicher at New York’s Avatar Studios in October 2015. The centre-piece of the album is the spellbinding title suite, dedicated to Nasreen Mohamedi (1937-1990), the innovative Indian artist whose improvisatory imagery evokes abstracted rhythms. Trumpet and piano interact here with creative sensitivity to tone, texture and space. Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith will be premiering a cosmic rhythm with each stroke at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in March 2016 in the context of a major exhibition dedicated to Nasreen Mohamedi’s art and writings. The “suite for Nasreen” is framed on the album by Iyer’s composition “Passage” and Smith’s concluding piece “Marian Anderson”, inspired by the great US contralto. [1]


No. 40, "The 50 Best Albums of 2016" by Pitchfork [2]



  1. Passage 06:15
  2. All becomes Alive 09:09
  3. the Empty Mind Receives 04:55
  4. Labyrinths 06:43
  5. A Divine Courage 09:12
  6. Uncut Emeralds 07:43
  7. A Cold Fire 05:55
  8. Notes on Water 07:58
  9. Marian Anderson 08:23

(all tracks: Vijay Iyer, Wadada Leo Smith)


  1. ECM Records, 14.12.2016
  2. Pitchfork, The 50 Best Albums of 2016, Dec. 2016, 14.12.2016



Reviews, ArticlesEdit

"On A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke, Iyer reconnects with Smith in a studio for the first time since appearing as a sideman on the trumpeter’s 2009 album Spiritual Dimensions. Their meeting here results in a frequently gorgeous, sometimes roiling set that stands out in each artist’s catalog."

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