Total Pageviews

Bebop Spoken There

Ethan Iverson: "I asked Bertha [Hope] if she ever used the word "contrafact" to describe the process of writing new tunes over old changes, and she replied, "Of course not. The only people who used that word went to a university to learn about jazz."" - (Jazz Times March 2020).

Archive.

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

COFID- 19

In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

CD Review: Fred Hersch Trio ’97 @ The Village Vanguard

Fred Hersch (piano), Drew Gress (bass) Tom Rainey (drums)
(Review by Dave Brownlow.)

In July 1997 jazz piano master Fred Hersch took his trio with Drew Gress and Tom Rainey into the iconic Village Vanguard nightclub in New York for the first time as a band leader rather than as just a sideman. The three Friday night sets of the week-long engagement were recorded but never released. 

Now, twenty-one years later, Fred has chosen to do just that and provide us with his favourite moments from this occasion in the form of the eight tracks on this CD – a mixture of Gasbook standards and original pieces. This is, in fact, the only “live” recording of this particular group and at this time, they were determined to make a name for themselves on the world stage. 

There was a freshness plus vitality and confidence about their playing and a ‘togetherness’ only forged by regular, consistent work and the performances are razor-sharp with the arrangements played to perfection. It has to be said that some of this music is on a par with moments from the Evans and Jarrett trios with strong interplay, creative virtuosity, intensity, tension and release.

Cole Porter’s Easy to Love is an engaging opener where Fred dissects and disassembles the famous old song before reassembling it in a lively, exciting fashion, building his solo in attacking style. An imaginative bass solo leads to a tense ending.

A ten-minute-long My Funny Valentine leads with a dynamic bass solo from Gress which brings his admirable technique and musicianship to the fore then the trio builds up before concluding with a “locked hands” piano solo.

A “cheeky” Three Little Words rattles along optimistically, cheerfully incorporating a ‘call and response’ section from piano and drums.

Fred’s own Evanessence provides a tribute to the late Bill Evans and his legendary appearances at the Vanguard with LaFaro and Motian. Here, Gress takes on the intricate melody high up in the register of the bass – not an easy thing to do ‘in-tune’ and at swift tempo. Bravo!

Dress’ original Andrew John begins with a ruminative, at times atonal, piano section leading to a meditative exploration of the theme and chords where each player contributes sensitively and thoughtfully.

Harry Warren and Mack Gordon’s I Wish I Knew is played in similar fashion to the great Jarrett “Standards Trio” version with lots of dynamic and rhythmic shifts. Here, tension builds through the bassist playing in ‘two/four’ rather than the conventional ‘four/four’ and the drummer’s compulsive drive.

The Hersch original Swamp Thang has a deep bluesy groove. Amazingly, we’re still finding ways to present ‘the most-loved jazz chord sequence of all time’ in different ways – a fundamental core of this great music from Leadbelly to the New Orleans of George Lewis to Lewis Watson, or from Coleman Hawkins to Ornette Coleman and beyond with everything in-between!

Finally, You Don’t Know What Love Is is at a frantic pace where the three ‘virtuosos’ thrill with this show of ability, creativity, flamboyance and intensity.

This CD further cements Fred Hersch’s place in the ‘pantheon’ of jazz pianists in a career lasting so far over thirty years, in which time he’s received a staggering number of  awards, lavish praise and where he continues to take the history of jazz music further and further forward.
Dave B.
The Fred Hersch Trio’97 @ The Village Vanguard will be available from Palmetto Records or from fredhersch.com on December 7.


No comments :

Blog Archive