Big Finale

Sunday evening, and Jazz had the last “word” at the 2017 Ojai Music Festival. The Vijay Iyer Sextet took to the stage of Libbey Bowl and launched into a set of “composed” improvisations recently recorded by the group. Nouveau hard bop/fusion and impressionist excursions that moved the audience physically, emotionally and spiritually. There were big dollops of funk with hard-driving and complex ensemble horn riffs by Mark Shim and Steve Lehman on tenor and alto sax and cornetist Graham Haynes, and lots of hot, free-ranging solos by all. Most of the tunes built inexorably to fevered peaks at the end, anchored by Mr. Iyer’s keyboards and propelled by the ecstatic drumming of Tyshawn Sorey and the driving, elastic bass playing of Stephen Crump.