Tyshawn Sorey’s ‘Pillars’ Reviewed

Source: Rolling Stone.

More than a decade ago, Tyshawn Sorey, then best known as a rising-star jazz drummer, informed listeners that he had no intention of playing it by the book. “The usual expectation of a recording of compositions by a drummer is that the drums will be featured throughout,” Sorey wrote in the liner notes to his austere, challenging 2007 double album That/Not. “This album runs contrary to such a notion.” He went on to say that “the technical aspect of the music is beside the point.”

In retrospect, Sorey — who also plays trombone and piano, and who won a MacArthur “Genius Grant” in 2017 — was writing a manifesto for his career as a composer and bandleader. His individualistic streak reaches its latest apex on Pillars, a sprawling, mysterious and at times thrilling new three-disc set that runs to nearly four hours.