Fred Hersch Trio at KCH
Fred Hersch Trio visited Ann Arbor's Kerrytown Concert House
on a CD release tour for their new release Live at the Village
Vanguard (Palmetto Records) on May 8. Drew Gress (bass) and Nasheet
Waits (drums) were the other members of this very accomplished trio.
The program included several standards as well as Hersch's own compositions,
including several from the new CD.
evening started and finished with tunes by Monk. "Work"
kicked things off and I was immediately struck by the sound of the
trio. The three musicians listened attentively to each other and worked
on producing a carefully calibrated total sound. The last song of
the regular program was "Evidence," to which Hersch gave
an extended intro with some beautiful colorings. The ensemble parts
on this piece were rhythmically quite free and the most exhilarating
of the evening. Hersch's own "Stuttering," built on one
major scale, also included some intricate rhythmic patterns from the
trio. To top off this witty piece, Waits treated us to a carefully
constructed drum solo. Waits worked beautifully with Hersch throughout
the evening. Both are nimble players with a great sense of dynamics.
Gress is a wonderful accompanist and his melodic talents were most
evident on a couple of Wayne Shorter pieces, "Miayako"/"Black
Nile." Hersch has a fondness for ballads and on pieces like "Black
Dog Pays a Visit," "Some Other Time," and "At
the Close of the Day" his piano touch was exquisite. The latter
is part of the pianist's Walt Whitman tribute, "Leaves of Grass,"
which recently had its world premiere in Kalamazoo.
an encore, Hersch gave us a solo version of Strayhorn's "Lotus
Blossom" a masterful miniature to end a great evening
photographs by Lars Bjorn