Fred Hersch: Trio + 2 (2004)
“...The interest was to use the horns at times just as an orchestral element, not to do a ‘string of solos’ typical jazz quintet CD,” says Hersch. On Trio + 2, horns provide distinct voices that fit neither ensemble nor orchestration. Ralph Alessi and Tony Malaby function within a literacy of which hard bopping horning is but a small part.
The players have transcended their time. In this sense, Trio + 2 does not quite reach what it seeks to grasp. Great expectations often leave mixed results. This Fred Hersch quintet surges and recedes in defiance of groove. Trio + 2 is a set of aural waves that do not emote. Only “Rain Waltz” possesses the type of holistic serenity that comforts the ear on the upsurge. In a less hurried time, Hersch might have more deeply explored half as many ideas musical ideas. Fred Hersch has grown so much since his last quintet recording (thirteen years ago) that Trio +2 represents an artistic challenge: how to make new playing fit an aging framework.
This review originally appeared in AllAboutJazz-New York .
Track Listing: 1. A Riddle Song - 6:13 2. And I Love Her - 4:41 3. Miss B. - 6:23 4. Black Dog Pays a Visit - 6:53 5. A Lark - 6:23 6. Down Home - 4:54 7. Rain Waltz - 8:02 8. Marshall's Plan - 6:32 9. Lee's Dream - 4:46 10. The Chase - 3:22
Personnel: Fred Hersch - Piano; Ralph Alessi - Trumpet, Flugelhorn; Drew Gress - Bass; Nasheet Waits - Drums; Tony Malaby - Tenor Sax.
Record Label: Palmetto Records
Style: Modern Jazz