Fred Hersch: piano; John Hébert: double bass; Eric McPherson: drums.
Fred Hersch, a pianist of elaborate momentum, makes of the diversity his best weapon in “Sunday Nigh at the Vanguard”, recorded live in the most celebrated jazz venue in New York, in the company of the explorative bassist John Hébert and the tremendously adaptable Eric McPherson, who occupied the drummer’s chair.
The inspired melodies and harmonic textures of the pianist combine seamlessly with the throbbing grooves generated by the empathic rhythm section, ending up in curious dialogues that are more concordant than contentious.
Shedding a gentle lyricism, the proficient trio dabbles in a variety of styles. “A Cockeyed Optimist” is the typical jazz standard, “Serpentine” let us feel a strong classical influence, “The Optimum Thing” is a bop-colored tune, “Calligram is an avant-gardish delight dedicated to Benoit Delbecq, “Blackwing Palomino” is a post-bop incursion with rhythmic nuances, McCartney’s “For No One” takes the form of a ballad, Kenny Wheeler’s “Everybody’s Song But My Own” is a gripping exuberance, the weepy “The Peacocks” is naturally impactful, and Monk’s mood is completely identifiable in “Wee See”, here enhanced with some radical rhythmic variations.
04 – Calligram ► 07 – Everybody’s Song But My Own ► 08 – The Peacocks