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Trio + 2

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Album Review

After primarily concentrating on solo and trio recordings for an extended time, pianist Fred Hersch opted to expand his group to a quintet for this outstanding session. With Nasheet Waits on drums and longtime bassist Drew Gress, Hersch's choice of trumpeter and flügelhornist Ralph Alessi and tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby proves to be an inspired one. Other than a gorgeous interpretation of the Beatles' timeless ballad "And I Love Her," whose arrangement has the flavor of an impressionist like Satie, the songs are all originals by the leader. Hersch's "A Riddle Song," which is made up of intervals of perfect fifths, is an infectious post-bop vehicle created to feature the phenomenal Waits, though the pianist has his say with some wailing choruses of his own. "Miss B" is a funky off-kilter tune with a call-and-response between Alessi and Malaby. "Black Dog Pays a Visit" (whose title was inspired by Winston Churchill's term for depression) is a complex moody work that packs an emotional punch. The intricate "Marshall's Plan" hints at the influence of Bill Evans. "Lee's Dream," which honors Lee Konitz and owes its creation to the chord changes of "You Stepped Out of a Dream," is a fascinating duet by Hersch and Malaby. This is yet another highly recommended addition to Fred Hersch's vast discography as a leader.

Customer Reviews

Hersch gets a horn section

And a perfect horn section for his music, too. Ralph Alessi and Tony Malaby both have a pure, slightly breathy sound that fits perfectly with Hersch's dynamic. Hersch's intricate, beautiful trio playing doesn't go away when he adds trumpet and tenor -- this is less of a horn-dominated quintet than, well, the Fred Hersch trio plus two. My favorite tracks are the moody "Black Dog Pays A Visit" and the breathtakingly beautiful "A Lark."

Trio plus 2 Soars!

Fred Hirsch is simply a brilliant jazz pianist and this recording just soars. He even manages to pull off a tune written in entirely minor chords, the Horn arrangements are breathtaking. I wish I had one-thousandth of the chops he has! And he can play them all in any key! One of the best Jazz recordings of the Year.

Biography

Born: October 21, 1955 in Cincinnati, OH

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A superior soloist, accompanist, and interpreter of ballads, Fred Hersch started playing piano when he was four. He moved to New York in 1977 and worked as a sideman with many players including Stan Getz, Joe Henderson, Toots Thielemans, Art Farmer, Jane Ira Bloom, Eddie Daniels, and Janis Siegel, in addition to leading his own groups. During 1980-1986, he taught at the New England Conservatory and became part of the faculty at the New School. In addition, Hersch has recorded extensively as a leader,...
Full Bio
Trio + 2, Fred Hersch
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  • $9.90
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Mar 01, 2004

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