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

Kim Cass – bass, sampling
Matt Mitchell - piano and prophet-6
Tyshawn Sorey - drums
Laura Cocks - flutes
Adam Dotson - euphonium

“Bassist Kim Cass is among a vanguard group of Brooklyn-based improvisors who are creating works at the leading-edge of rhythmic acuity. Levs, his debut with Pi Recordings, features pianist Matt Mitchell and drummer Tyshawn Sorey, who called Cass “a singular composer and player: the man can do things that doesn’t seem possible on the bass...

"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...

"Alto saxophonist Steve Coleman's Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. I (The Embedded Sets) is his first live release in over 15 years. It captures his band Five Elements in two joyous sets at the historic New York venue where some of the most famous jazz recording from the likes of John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, and Bill Evans have been made.
Coleman's personal history is tied deeply with the club: One of the main reasons he moved to New York City from Chicago was for the opportunity to play in the...

Steve Coleman - alto saxophone
Jonathan Finlayson - trumpet
Kokayi - wordsmith
Anthony Tidd - bass
Sean Rickman - drums

“Recorded live in performance at the renowned Village Vanguard in New York City, "Mdw Ntr," finds MacArthur Fellow Steve Coleman exploring new terrain in his use of non-linear performance practices in his music. Featuring his long-running flagship ensemble Five Elements, he utilizes spontaneous and pre-composed modules, or motivic cells that can be played in an

"Morphogenesis is the highly-anticipated follow-up to alto saxophonist/ composer Steve Coleman’s Synovial Joints, which was named the #1 jazz release of 2015 by the New York Times, as well as the top ten at NPR, Downbeat, Popmatters, Slate, and The Nation. Like on that release, Morphogenesis expands Coleman’s compositional scope, adding vocals, violin, clarinet, piano, contrabass and percussion to the mix, in addition to alto sax, trumpet and tenor sax. Partially due to the instrumentation, his use of...

"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
Stephan Crump - bass
Damion Reid - drums

“Last Desert is guitarist Liberty Ellman's follow up to his critically-acclaimed Radiate (Pi 2015), which the Wall Street Journal described as "bristling with energy and innovation" and Downbeat praised as "unique, indelible and fully human."
Named #1 Rising Star Guitarist in the 2016 Downbeat Critics Poll, Ellman is perh

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

Jonathan Finlayson: trumpet
Steve Lehman: alto saxophone
Brian Settles: tenor saxophone and flute
Matt Mitchell: piano
John Hebert: bass
Craig Weinrib: drums

Really happy to see DC’s fabulous saxist Brian Settles playing with some of the NYC heavyweights on this great, modern session. Wonderful stuff!

“Trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson's 3 Times Round is his first release since the widely-lauded Moving Still, which was named one of the top albums of 2016 by the Ne

Jonathan Finlayson - trumpet
Miles Okazaki - guitar
Matt Mitchell - piano
John Hébert bass
Craig Weinrib - drums

"Moving Still is the eagerly-awaited follow-up to trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson's Moment and the Message, which was voted the Number One album by a debut artist in the NPR Jazz Critics Poll and called 'a great modern jazz record that also sounds like joy and feels like a dance' by PopMatters. One of the most highly regarded young musicians on the scene, Finlayson was..

“Find Letter X, the eponymous release from the Brooklyn-based band led by drummer/composer Kate Gentile, features saxophonist Jeremy Viner, pianist Matt Mitchell, and bassist Kim Cass.
Gentile's 2021 release Snark Horse - co-led with Mitchell - was a gargantuan six-volume set that Downbeat called "Monumental... Creating an abstract galaxy from scratch, they sound like they know every black hole and supercluster in the place."
The similarly-ambitious new work - across three densely-packed CDs...

"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...

Fantastic performances and solid compositions. Note Bruno Ruder of Magma is in the ensemble!

“Ex Machina is a new collaboration between visionary saxophonist/composer Steve Lehman and the GRAMMY-nominated Orchestre National de Jazz (ONJ). It is a dazzling new work for jazz orchestra that sets a new standard for innovation in the large ensemble format. With compositions by both Lehman and ONJ’s artistic director, Frédéric Maurin, Ex Machina makes frequent use of otherworldly spectral harmonies...

"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....

“Xaybu: The Unseen is the sophomore release from Sélébéyone, the international avant-rap collective led by saxophonist and composer Steve Lehman, who has been hailed by The New York Times for his "sure-footed futurism" in the realms of modern jazz and contemporary classical music. Comprised of MCs HPrizm and Gaston Bandimic, saxophonists Lehman and Maciek Lasserre, and drummer Damion Reid, their eponymous 2016 debut was hailed as a game-changing synthesis of underground hip-hop, modern jazz and live...

Steve Lehman – alto sax
Craig Taborn – piano
Matt Brewer – double bass
Damion Reid – drums

“Hailed by The New York Times as "a state-of-the-art musical thinker" and "a quietly dazzling saxophonist," Steve Lehman has built a career creating innovative, uncompromising music that packs a visceral wallop. His signature alto sound - searing with emotional intensity and crystal clear articulation - has been featured in high-profile partnerships with Vijay Iyer, Jason Moran, and Bennie...

"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...

“Phalanx Ambassadors is the latest release from pianist/keyboardist/composer Matt Mitchell, whom PopMatters calls "the most complete and well-integrated improvising pianist of the last 15 years." They also called his prior release, A Pouting Grimace, "brilliant and varied... animated by breathtaking compositional imagination and startling arrangements." His bold new release features works that burst forth with intricate detail, featuring precise execution of complex polyrhythms and irrational meters...

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...

“Snark Horse is a book of 70 highly-detailed one-bar compositions by pianist / composer Matt Mitchell and percussionist / composer Kate Gentile designed to incite inventive, multi-directional improvisation. It is also the name of a revolving cast of musicians – including Mitchell and Gentile – who have performed this music in various combinations since 2013....

Hafez Modirzadeh - tenor saxophone (2-5, 7, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17)
Kris Davis - piano (3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 16)
Tyshawn Sorey - piano (2, 5, 8, 10, 14, 17)
Craig Taborn - piano (1, 7, 11, 13, 15, 18)

“Facets is saxophonist/composer Hafez Modirzadeh’s latest radical entreaty against the cultural hegemony of the Western notion of equal temperament and his argument that musicians should be free to explore a variety of tonal possibilities, even on piano. His 2012 release Post-Chromodal Out!.

"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...

Miles Okazaki - guitars, electronics
Matt Mitchell - piano, Fender Rhodes, Prophet-6
Anthony Tidd - electric bass
Sean Rickman – drums

“The material for The Sky Below was developed while touring with a new version of the band, a quartet of Okazaki on guitar, Matt Mitchell (taking over for Craig Taborn, who appeared on the first album) on piano, Anthony Tidd on electric bass, and Sean Rickman on drums. Okazaki got a sense of Mitchell's skill set after working for several years on.

"...rich with emotion and unexpected twists…. Throughout, [Okazaki's] consistently clear and gorgeously warm guitar tone is one anchor for his music…. simultaneously build and deconstruct alluringly complex forms, as befits the legacies of both timeless tricksters and modern jazz musicians."-Wall Street Journal

"The interplay between Tidd, Taborn, and Okazaki results in glorious braids of melody. The execution is obviously complex, the work of virtuosi. But the resulting beauty is easy to...