214

Fred Hersch Trio: Live At The Village Vanguard

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Fred Hersch Trio: Live At The Village Vanguard 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.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Palmetto Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "A Secret Sigh" CD/LP/Track Review A Secret Sigh
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Garden" CD/LP/Track Review Garden
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 21, 2016
Read "Prog Noir" CD/LP/Track Review Prog Noir
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Godspeed" CD/LP/Track Review Godspeed
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 14, 2016
Read "Nearness And You, Duets and Improvisations" CD/LP/Track Review Nearness And You, Duets and Improvisations
by John Sharpe
Published: November 16, 2016
Read "Magic Light" CD/LP/Track Review Magic Light
by James Nadal
Published: April 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!