Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

214

Fred Hersch Trio: Live At The Village Vanguard

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist Fred Hersch starts off this live set unaccompanied, playing a version of Thelonious Monk’s “Bemsha Swing” in a ‘smarty-pants-deconstructed-chamber-post-modernism’ style. As we all know, Monk has never been about high mindedness, and Hersch lets you know he knows just that. Just as his rhythm partners kick in, he shakes off Carnegie Hall for a true New York experience that is a basement known as the Village Vanguard. He plays a little back-and-forth with bassist Drew Gress and drummer Nasheet Waits, rolling up his sheets and getting his hands dirty. Ah yes, that’s Monk dancing beside the pianist and this trio is the real deal.

Hersch has taken on Mr. Monk before, with an entire disc’s worth of music. The 1998 Thelonious (Nonesuch) was at times more Bill Evans than Thelonious Monk. Likewise his Evanessence (Evidence 1998) was pure delight for fans. Where some of his studio dates seem too ‘perfect,’ all of his live discs Let Yourself Go (1999) and Live At Maybeck (1993) are vivacious and full of spirit.

These live sessions from May of last year find Hersch mixing things up to great effect. He knows how to heat things up as with the burning “Phantom Of The Bopera” where Nasheet Waits applies a massive drums solo. Then change into his sentimentalist Bill Evans clothes, plying the melancholy to Sammy Cahn’s “Some Other Time.” Throughout, the emotion is real. Hersch can take you from a tentative New Orleans funky “Swamp Thing” that turns into an all-out blues tune or plaster a hard bop wallop.

The trio covers Wayne Shorter’s “Miyako/Black Nile” with a pragmatic, matter-of-fact approach. Shorter’s intricate compositions only bare fruit in the hands of master musicians. Here, Hersch and company patiently wade through the tune with an exposed vulnerable touch segued by Waits’ rolling solo into a dexterous finale.

The set ends with the standard “I’ll Be Seeing You,” played with just enough syrup to make it tasteful. Hersch’s trio made magic in the center of the jazz universe for this recording.

Track Listing: Bemsha Swing; At the Close of the Day; Phantom of the Bopera; Endless Stars; Swamp Thang; Stuttering; Some Other Time; Days Gone By; Miyako/Black Nile; I'll Be Seeing You.

Personnel: Fred Hersch: piano; Drew Gress: bass; Nasheet Waits: drums.

Title: Live At The Village Vanguard | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Palmetto Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Whirl

Whirl

Fred Hersch
Fred Hersch Solo

West Virginia Rose / Home Fries

West Virginia Rose / Home Fries

Fred Hersch
Floating

Album Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
In Pictures
Album Reviews
Interviews
Live Reviews
Book Reviews
Album Reviews
Bailey's Bundles
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Begin Again

Begin Again

Palmetto Records
2019

buy
Live In Europe

Live In Europe

Palmetto Records
2018

buy
Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard

Fred Hersch Trio '97...

Palmetto Records
2018

buy
Open Book

Open Book

Palmetto Records
2017

buy
Sunday Night at the Vanguard

Sunday Night at the...

Palmetto Records
2016

buy
Sarabande

Sarabande

Sunnyside Records
2016

buy

Upcoming Shows

Related Articles

Read Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances Album Reviews
Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances
By Dan McClenaghan
May 21, 2019
Read Crowded Heart Album Reviews
Crowded Heart
By Nicholas F. Mondello
May 21, 2019
Read That's a Computer Album Reviews
That's a Computer
By Jerome Wilson
May 21, 2019
Read All I Do Is Bleed Album Reviews
All I Do Is Bleed
By Paul Naser
May 21, 2019
Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Karl Ackermann
May 20, 2019
Read Remembering Miles Album Reviews
Remembering Miles
By Dan McClenaghan
May 20, 2019
Read Merry Peers Album Reviews
Merry Peers
By Bruce Lindsay
May 20, 2019