Best of 2017 #23: Tyshawn Sorey – “Verisimilitude” (Pi Recordings)


Verisimilitude is a piano trio recording. It makes its intentions known in the opening notes of composer Tyshawn Sorey’s latest.  Pianist Cory Smythe offers up some thoughtful phrases.  Bassist Chris Tordini takes advantage of the open range by augmenting the rhythm with some melodic contributions.  Sorey, on drums, adds nuance with a restrained patter and tasteful cymbal crashes.  But Sorey’s creative impulses lean heavier toward forward-thinking expressionism, even as it goes about honoring that which has come before.  And that marks where Verisimilitude ends its phase as a classic piano trio recording and becomes something else.  Classical, electronic, ambient, avant-garde and any number of other influences become ingredients for an album that doesn’t exclusively cozy up to any one.  And, intriguingly, the album never fully manifests into a final stage.  It is music that is undergoing evolution while the tape is rolling.  It’s a seed undergoing self-realization as the bloom is underway.  That quality is what renders the album’s opening notes as the most intriguing moment of the Sorey’s latest project.  Sorey’s trio rehabs the state of transformation into a permanent resting point, where everything changing is everything staying the same.  Fans of Bill Evans are going to say this is the good stuff.  Fans of Debussy are going to say this is the good stuff.  Fans of Nils Frahm and Hauschka and Andrew Hill and Matthew Shipp are all going to say this is the good stuff.  At least for a little while, until everything changes again.  And that’s a good thing.  Because Tyshawn Sorey is currently traveling a creative arc where every new change has the potential to be the most wonderful thing ever heard.

Music from NYC.

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