All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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...

12

Fred Hersch Trio: Live In Europe

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Fred Hersch's 2009 recording, Whirl (Palmetto Records), was where pure magic first occurred in the pianist's extensive and consistently superb discography. That particular outing introduced his now long-standing trio with bassist John Hebert and drummer Eric McPherson. Alive At the Vanguard (2012), Floating (2014), and Sunday Night At The Vanguard (2016) by the group followed, all on Palmetto Records.

For those who lauded Hersch's solo outing, Open Book (Palmetto Records, 2017) as his finest, most incisive and finely-focused outing, the pianist offers up Live In Europe, featuring his Hebert/McPherson team, to garner votes for that "Hersch's Best" slot.

Performed at Flagey Studio 4, in Brussels's former National Institute for Radio Broadcasting, Hersch was initially unaware that the set—which he regarded as one of his best trio performances ever—had been recorded. Upon finding out that it had been—and upon hearing the tape and having his belief in its extraordinary quality confirmed—he decided to release the music.

Spinning through Hersch's previous outings with this nine years and running trio says that they bring the "A" game every time. On Live In Europe it's an "A+" game. The players are as flexibly synchronized and adept at presenting their three-way improvisational and emotional expressionism as they could be, on a set that begins with a jittery take on Thelonious Monk's "We See." The group follows with six Hersch originals, including tributes to British pianist John Taylor and a calypso-esque nod to saxophone legend Sonny Rollins, before slipping into the Herbie Hancock songbook with the achingly beautiful "Miyako," that gives way to an effervescent take on a second Shorter tune, "Black Nile." It's a set where Hersch sounds freer, more open to possibilities, employing the same exploratory approach he presented on the epic "Though The Forest" on his Open Book outing.

And the sound must be addressed. It doesn't get any better—a big plus, especially on piano trio outings. The piano is crisp, like a winter sunrise. Every nuance of McPherson's intricate and energetic drumming has crystal clarity, and Hebert's empathic and emphatic bass lines come through with a clean-cut lucidity.

The show wraps it up with a solo encore of "Blue Monk," a sober and contemplative return to Monk-land, a place to which Hersch often travels.

Track Listing: Wee See; Snape Maltings; Scuttlers; Skipping; Bristol Fog; Newklypso; The Big Easy; Miyako; Black Nile; Blue Monk.

Personnel: Fred Hersch: piano; John Hebert: bass; Eric McPherson: drums.

Title: Live In Europe | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Palmetto Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Whirl

Whirl

Fred Hersch
Fred Hersch Solo

West Virginia Rose / Home Fries

West Virginia Rose / Home Fries

Fred Hersch
Floating

CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
In Pictures
CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
Live Reviews
Read more articles
Live In Europe

Live In Europe

Palmetto Records
2018

buy
Fred Hersch Trio: Live in Europe

Fred Hersch Trio:...

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
Solo

Solo

Palmetto Records
2015

buy

Related Articles

Read Point Blank CD/LP/Track Review
Point Blank
by Chris May
Published: August 20, 2018
Read Tell Me The Truth CD/LP/Track Review
Tell Me The Truth
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 20, 2018
Read No One Is Alone CD/LP/Track Review
No One Is Alone
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 20, 2018
Read The Literature CD/LP/Track Review
The Literature
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 20, 2018
Read Between the Silence CD/LP/Track Review
Between the Silence
by John Kelman
Published: August 19, 2018
Read Flying CD/LP/Track Review
Flying
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 19, 2018
Read "Traveler" CD/LP/Track Review Traveler
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 14, 2018
Read "Criss Cross" CD/LP/Track Review Criss Cross
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 22, 2018
Read "Reunion" CD/LP/Track Review Reunion
by Don Phipps
Published: November 27, 2017
Read "Sunlight" CD/LP/Track Review Sunlight
by Jeff Winbush
Published: April 25, 2018
Read "Say It" CD/LP/Track Review Say It
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 20, 2018
Read "Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album" CD/LP/Track Review Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 1, 2018