Pi Recordings

"SoundDance celebrates the 80th birthday of the hugely influential pianist Muhal Richard Abrams. Perhaps best known as the founder of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM)—the organization from which sprung such giants of...

"Vision Towards Essence captures Muhal Richard Abrams live at the peak of his powers, performing solo in front of an enthusiastic audience at the 1998 Guelph Jazz Festival in Canada. This incredible recording captures an unedited account of a continuous s

"A recording by Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, or Roscoe Mitchell is occasion for notice and celebration.A recording by all three of them together is a historic musical moment.Abrams, founder of the AACM; Mitchell, founder of the Art Ensemble of...

"The Art Ensemble of Chicago’s Non-cognitive Aspects of the City is a double CD representing two sets recorded during the band’s rare six-night engagement, March 30th through April 4th 2004, at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City. Engagements of that l

"Much has happened since the Art Ensemble of Chicago’s last release, The Meeting, in 2003. The band had reinvented itself as a quartet again, with the return of Joseph Jarman. Their touring had increased consistently. They were all writing again with the

"In late 2002, Pi Recordings inquired into the possibility of recording the AEOC as a quartet once again with Joseph Jarman back in the fold. With some quartet shows booked in Europe on the horizon, the moment seemed right to bring the remaining members b

"Functional Arrhythmias is the latest and most ambitious chapter in alto saxophonist Steve Coleman’s ongoing study into patterns found in nature – in this case the various rhythms found inside the human body – and using them as the building blocks for...

"The Mancy of Sound finds Steve Coleman at his creative peak, incorporating a lifetime of research into African Diasporic culture and cycles found in nature & astronomy into his musical methods. The current edition of his longtime band is perhaps his...

"Synovial Joints is the most ambitious project of Coleman s 30+ year career, featuring 21 musicians from the jazz, Afro-Cuban, Afro-Brazilian and contemporary classical circles on horns, woodwinds, piano, vocals, percussion and strings...

Liberty Ellman guitar
Steve Lehman alto saxophone
Jonathan Finlayson trumpet
Jose Davila tuba, trombone
Stephan Crump bass
Damion Reid drums

"Radiate is the long-anticipated new release from guitarist Liberty Ellman, his

"Liberty Ellman, one of New York’s most imaginative and unorthodox guitarist/composers follows up 1998’s Orthodoxy, which he released on his own Red Giant Records, with Tactiles. The Tactiles quartet is formed of Mark Shim on tenor, Stephan Crump on...

Amir ElSaffar: trumpet
Ole Mathisen: tenor saxophone
John Escreet: piano
Francois Moutin: bass
Dan Weiss: drums

Trumpeter Amir ElSaffar’s Alchemy continues his investigations of tonal systems of other cultures within a jazz...

I actually saw this group at the Iraqi Embassy in 2011 and they kept a mostly Iraqi, non-jazz audience completely spellbound with this compelling blend of jazz and traditional Iraqi music. Only in DC, right? Right!...

"Iraqi-American trumpeter Amir ElSaffar put his New York career on hold six years ago to immerse himself in the music of his father’s ancestral past, the Iraqi Maqam. Already an accomplished jazz and classical trumpeter, having performed with esteemed art

"Praised by NPR’s Fresh Air as “a jazz power trio for the new century,” Fieldwork makes its most powerful and fiercely imagined statement to date with Door, their third album for Pi Recordings. An important marker in this New York collective’s ongoing ev

"Hailed as one of today’s truly original and groundbreaking ensembles by publications as diverse as The Wire, Mojo, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Village Voice, Fieldwork sets forth a dynamic, high-impact group sound that’s unlike anything you’ve e

"Your Life Flashes is a powerful response to European accusations of stagnation in America’s creative music; it is emotional, challenging, experimental, edgy, hard-hitting, and intense. The music comes in cascades and torrents, demanding the listener’s un

"The cohesive group's ethos is at once reflective and kinetic...this is exciting and eminently listenable stuff, intuitive in bearing and dynamic in execution. An essential for adventurous listeners, [it] could also serve as an ideal introduction to Iyer'

"With this project, Iyer and Ladd have inspired each other to reach far beyond what either has done previously. Taken together, their influences cover the entire spectrum of modern music, and it shows. The mesmerizing sonic miniatures range from the omino

"Pi Recordings is proud to re-issue Grammy Award-nominated pianist Vijay Iyer’s Panoptic Modes. Originally released on the Red Giant label in 2001, this was his third CD as a leader and the one that first launched him to prominence, with rave reviews...

"Holding It Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project is the result of a three-year collaboration between Grammy® nominee Vijay Iyer and poet/librettist Mike Ladd, with veterans of color from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is also the culmination of a...

"Pi Recordings is pleased to announce the release of Demian as Posthuman, the highly anticipated new release by Steve Lehman, and his first as a leader for Pi Recordings. Hailed as one of today’s truly original new voices by publications as diverse as The

Quite challenging and also quite great new jazz album that incorporates many aspects of 'new music' into the compositions and performance. Some of these players are pretty well known and many are not, but everyone plays fantastically....

"Hailed by The New York Times as a 'state-of-the-art musical thinker with a reputation for sure-footed futurism', and 'one of the transforming figures of 21st-century jazz' by The Guardian, saxophonist/composer Steve Lehman has built a career creating innovative new music that packs the visceral wallop of live performance. Acclaimed for his groundbreaking work of melding spectral harmonies with modern jazz, he was voted the '#1 Rising Star Jazz Musician' in the 2015 Downbeat International Critics Poll...

"Once again the outside world has provided a launching point and a system of order to draw from for Rudresh. The music on Codebook stems from ideas and concepts related to cryptography. The varied systems provided the groundwork for Rudresh to approach th

"Kinsmen is a groundbreaking project by alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa that melds jazz and South Indian Carnatic music into a single organic whole. Features Kadri Gopalnath, a living legend of Carnatic music and a true innovator in introducing...

"Mother Tongue is the latest album from Indian-American composer and alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa. Mother Tongue is Rudresh’s musical attempt to dispel the mistaken notion that India, with its multiple cultures, religions and hundreds of spoken...

"Rudresh Mahanthappa is widely considered one of the most important jazz musicians today, perennially at or near the top of the DownBeat Critic’s Poll. At the age of 75, Bunky Green is a significant, though unsung, trendsetter in the history of jazz...

"Song for My Sister is the Note Factory’s first release since 1999’s Nine to Get Ready. Recorded February of 2002 in Roscoe’s home of Madison, WI, the lineup has changed with the addition of Corey Wilkes, Vijay Iyer, Vincent Davis, and Leon Dorsey...

The debut recording as leader by this amazingly great pianist with huge abilities and wide-ranging interest (who else has been a member of Thinking Plague, Claudia Quintet and Tim Berne's Snakeoil? Hmm? This is a duo album featuring Matt and Ches Smith...

Matt Mitchell: piano
Chris Speed: tenor saxophone, clarinet
Chris Tordini: bass
Dan Weiss: drums

"Matt Mitchell is one of the most in-demand pianists in jazz. As a member of Tim Berne's Snakeoil, the Dave Douglas Quintet, Rudresh Mahanthappa s Bird Calls, John Hollenbeck s Large Ensemble and Claudia Quintet +1, among many others, he has played an integral role on a huge swath of the most critically-acclaimed releases of the last few years. Highly regarded for bringing contemporary...

"In Convergence Liberation represents the latest step in saxophonist/ composer/theorist Hafez Modirzadeh’s thirty-year quest to create a seamless exchange between the world’s musical systems. It follows on the heels of his 2012 release Post Chromodal...

"Scintillating ... a radical cultural exchange"-New York Times

"Thick with ideas and inspiration."-Los Angeles Times

"Post-Chromodal Out! represents the next step in Iranian-American saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh’s quest to create a...

"Pi Recordings is pleased to present Back In Time, the latest release from Odyssey, the Band featuring James “Blood” Ulmer (G), Charles Burnham (V) and Warren Benbow (D). Back In Time marks the band’s first return to the recording studio since 1983...

"And Now… the return of the Revolutionary Ensemble! The release of a new album by the influential collective may come as a surprise to band’s many long-time fans – Not much had been heard from the trio since the late 1970s. An avant-garde jazz band based

"Party Intellectuals is the debut recording from Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog, a post-everything band combining the energies of two masters of downtown New York mayhem: guitarist/vocalist Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, John Zorn, Robert Plant, T-Bone Burnett...

"A visionary guitarist, Ribot is a fount of pithy commentary."-New York Times

"Almost a polar opposite of his last release, Party Intellectuals, Silent Movies is mostly filled with gorgeously contemplative compositions performed solo, with...

"What is Spiritual Unity?

Spiritual Unity is a group formed by guitarist Marc Ribot dedicated to re-creating and re-imagining the music of the great saxophonist Albert Ayler, one of the pillars of modern jazz. Ribot (Lounge Lizards, Los Cubanos

Totally SMOKIN' electric jazz trio set from this band of equals. Grimes and Chad sound great together and this is one of the best things I have heard out of Ribot. Includes two late period Coltrane tracks (Sun Ship & Dearly Beloved), two by Ayler...

"Vocalist, composer, multi-instrumentalist Jen Shyu is best known for carving out new improvisational terrain for the voice through integrating traditional music discovered through rigorous research and fieldwork. Sounds and Cries of the World is a culmination of her travels through East Timor, Korea, Indonesia, and Taiwan, where she has spent months and years in each place immersing herself in the language and forgotten musics of various indigenous cultures. She has done this while continuing to be an...

"Synastry is a collaboration between groundbreaking vocalist Jen Shyu and master bassist Mark Dresser that demonstrates new possibilities for jazz singing. Shyu, a member of influential saxophonist Steve Coleman’s Five Elements, is well known for her...

"The Year of the Elephant is the first album by the Golden Quartet as a working band. Their previous album, Golden Quartet, was recorded before the band had ever played out live together. The time in-between the two recordings has given the group the...

"This is the first full duo recording of Wadada Leo Smith and Anthony Braxton ever. There have only been three times that the two have actually performed as a duo. The previous times were in Chicago and France. Some 30 years later, on April 5th, they play

"Saturn, Conjunct the Grand Canyon in a Sweet Embrace is the second release, in the two part series, of a live duo performance of Wadada and Braxton. It was recorded April 5th, 2003 at Tonic in NYC.

Wadada and Braxton’s relationship dates back.

Tyshawn Sorey - drums
Christopher Tordini - contrabass
Cory Smythe - piano

Alloy is the highly anticipated new release from drummer/composer Tyshawn Sorey, his first as a leader since his Oblique-I topped multiple critics polls as...

"Oblique I is the highly anticipated new release from drummer Tyshawn Sorey, delivering what his fans have long been seeking: an album that combines his virtuosic playing with his compositional mastery. On each of his two prior releases as a leader, he...

Tyshawn Sorey drums
Cory Smythe piano
Chris Tordini contrabass
Chern Hwei Fung violin
Kyle Armbrust viola
Rubin Kodheli cello
"Drummer Tyshawn Sorey is widely considered to be among the most important young artists at the intersection between composed and improvised music. The New York Times has called his work 'gestural and philosophical', and his prior release, Alloy 'elegant and shadowy'. Not just known for his impossibly virtuosic technique and his mind boggling ability to.

"A year ago Pi Recordings released the first new Henry Threadgill recording since 2001: This Brings Us To, Volume I. This is the second release from the same recording sessions of November 2008. Threadgill's Zooid band is a quintet, with Liberty Ellman...

"This Brings Us To is the first release from Threadgill since 2001. He has spent those eight years, the longest time between releases in his career, creating and perfecting a new system of improvisation in a group setting...

"Tomorrow Sunny / The Revelry, Spp is the new release from Henry Threadgill, whose prior releases This Brings Us To, Volumes 1 & 2 topped many critics’ year end lists in 2009 and 2010. The CD features Zooid, the longest-running band of Threadgill’s 40...