Iyer's skull-rattlingly heavy piano sound is somewhat off-putting, especially in the context of these largely accessible tunes. But that very style -- part Horace Silver blues, part Thelonious Monk melodicism, part Cecil Taylor craziness -- is what defines him as a unique player. The overall vibe of "Blood Sutra" is a to-the-gut punch tempered by tonal touches and well-crafted songs. But when Iyer gears into a solo (such as the one that closes the aptly titled "Brute Force"), he puts his back into it, resulting in a seriously special sound.
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