Reach up to the CD shelf and pull a handful of Fred Hersch CDS down. You'll find that the pianist has a good thing going with the Village Vanguard. Alive At The Vanguard (Palmetto Records, 2012) a stellar two CD set, and terrific solo set, Alone At the Vanguard (Palmetto Records, 2011), are Hersch's most recent recordings from the legendary venue; and now he and his trio offer up Sunday Night At the Vanguard. Hersch says this is his best trio album. Almost every artist says that about their latest—that this one's the best. But he might be right. The vote here would have gone to a studio recording, Whirl (Palmetto Records, 2010), a marvelous in-the-zone effort with this same trio—John Hebert on bass, Eric McPherson playing drums—until Sunday Night At The Vanguard rolled around.
The duo offers the most intimate dialogue between two musicians: a time when each musician himself up, and dig deep inside himself to express a melody inspired improvisation on the other, this is so magical. This magic has proved the first time that Nico Gori has performed with Fred Hersch. The two musicians met for the first time the North Sea Jazz Festival 2010 in Holland. Nico Gori then played with the Italian pianist Stefano Bollani and Fred Hersch Trio with her two. The two were immediately attracted by the sound of the other.
Fred Hersch grew up loving the show tunes of Rodgers & Hammerstein, so he took advantage of the opportunity to pay tribute to the songwriters. This solo piano set mixes together some standards (most notably "It Might As Well Be Spring" and "The Surrey with the Fringe On Top") with some lesser-known but worthwhile tunes, including "Loneliness of Evening" and "I Have Dreamed." Hersch's harmonically advanced yet melodic style transforms even the most unlikely tunes into high-quality jazz.
As an improviser of unsurpassed lyricism and technique Fred Hersch is at his most intimate and revealing in a solo setting. With 'Solo', the pianist kicks off a creatively fecund yearlong celebration of his 60th birthday with a definitive statement of his solo artistry. In many ways, 'Solo' distills the essence of Hersch's pianistic expression. Recorded in a jewel-like Catskills church at the 2014 Windham Chamber Music Festival, the set evolves with a compelling internal emotional logic all its own, flowing through Hersch's familiar solo touchstones (Jobim, Ellingtonia, Monk, originals) that turn into vessels for his supremely graceful invention. His 10th solo recording, 'Solo' joins an illustrious collection of albums that started with his riveting 1994 addition to Concord Jazz's Live at Maybeck series.