Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Fred Hersch: Alone at the Vanguard

"Included within the program are a pair of paeans—'Lee's Dream (Dedicated To Lee Konitz)' and 'Down Home (Dedicated To Bill Frisell),' which appeared on Fred Hersch Trio + 2 (Palmetto, 2004); classics from jazz giants Sonny Rollins ('Doxy') and Thelonious Monk ('Work'); and a bit of Brazilian magic in the form of Bandolim's 'Doco de Coco'; but a Frank Sinatra standard beats all in terms of emotional impact. Hersch opens the set with a take on 'In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning' that conveys a complete and appropriate sense of isolation and bruised masculinity, while also providing hopeful signs for a better tomorrow. After such an affecting opener, Hersch could really do no wrong, but he doesn't take his performance lightly: instead, he displays musical haughtiness and cheer when saluting Frisell; delights in creating fine narrative arc; toys with a more tempered attack on his nod to Konitz; provides a pearly touch in the upper reaches of the piano; and brings greater dignity and development to the work of Monk than 99.9 percent of the people that peddle his wares. ... The evolution of his every idea can freeze a smile on the face of his audience, command attention, and leave a room rapt with appreciation and admiration. Alone At The Vanguard is the proof" (Dan Bilawski, "CD/LP/Track Review,", 2/26/11).

View catalog record here!


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