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Alive at the Vanguard


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Audio CD, September 11, 2012
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Biography

Pianist and composer Fred Hersch has been called a "one of the small handful of brilliant musicians of his generation" by Downbeat and has earned a place among the foremost jazz artists in the world today. From the late 70's onward as a sideman to jazz legends including Joe Henderson, Art Farmer and Stan Getz, he has solidified a reputation as a versatile master of jazz piano, as ... Read more in Amazon's Fred Hersch Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 11, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Palmetto Records
  • ASIN: B008KX6PV2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,924 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

A new piano trio recording by five-time Grammy nominee Fred Hersch offers the rare opportunity to recalibrate expectations about the most fundamental of all jazz settings. Captured in the heat of creative ferment at the Village Vanguard, the sanctified venue that has long served as the pianist's second home, Hersch's trio with bassist John Hérbert and drummer Eric McPherson displays all the rhythmic daring, preternatural interplay, harmonic sophistication and passionate lyricism that makes it one of the era's definitive ensembles. The double album features a diverse array of seven scintillating new Hersch originals, four American Songbook gems, and seven classic jazz tunes. Reviewing the trio of the week of the recording, The New York Times Nate Chinen referred to the group's stronger sense of itself.

'This may be the best trio playing on record, in terms of range, sound, being in the moment, and the way we play together,' says Hersch. 'Not that I disown any of my former albums, but considering where I was three to four years ago, this is very strong, focused playing. And sonically I think it really captures the Vanguard. It sounds different than a studio album, and it should sound different, so you feel like you're there.'

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
It was a gift and the music is so beautiful.
Olivier Isabelle
Fred Hersch's new live recording is his best trio performance to date.
Marc Salz
And it's generous - two discs and commentary!
ERS2

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 28, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Just last year, Fred Hersch released a live solo album called "Alone at the Vanguard" and now comes this album, so it might look like a sequel of sorts. In fact, this release is a sequel of sorts to the Trio's 2003 album "Live at the Village Vanguard".

"Alive at the Vanguard" (2 CDs; 15 tracks; 116 min.) was recorded at this legendary jazz club in New York over several nights in February, 2012. CD1 (8 tracks; 58 min.) starts off with a nice new original Hersch composition "Havana". Midway through there is an oustanding "Dream of Monk", with splendid bass work from John Hebert. In the (excellent and insightful) album liner notes, Hersch comments that he wrote this track in 2010 in a span of about 20 min., just remarkable. CD2 (7 tracks; 58 min.) starts with "Opener (for EMac)", a song Hersch wrote specifically for his long-time drummer Eric McPherson, who gets the spotlight on this track. "The Wind/Moon and Sand" starts with a long piano solo from Hersch and eventually segues into the full trio sound. The album ends with the 15 min. work-out of "The Song Is You/Played Twice", a rare but fun Hammerstein-Monk combo. In all, what a fantastic album. There is really no weak track on here, period, and this is a must-have for any fan of Fred Hersch or of quality jazz.

I had the good fortune of seeing the Fred Hersch Trio in concert just recently here in Cincinnati (Hersch's original home town, he lived here through high school), at the famed Blue Wisp jazz club. It was only the second time in the last 20 years that Hersch had played in Cincinnati. What a fabulous set they brought. And as much as I like Hersch, it was (for me) Eric McPherson who stole the show, and then some. His drum solo on "Opener" was much more elaborate and far longer than on the live album, outright jaw-dropping. The trio played a number of tracks from the new live album, as well as some other choice cuts from the past. All that aside, "Alive at the Vanguard" is HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Marc Salz on October 18, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Fred Hersch's new live recording is his best trio performance to date. I have seen him live once at the Vanguard with the older trio but these new members push the music to new excellence. Buy it for the low price of two CDs for one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joe Hill on February 2, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I concur with the other reviewers who have given this live double-CD five stars. Not only is the quality of the musicianship absolutely brilliant -- I'm not overstating it -- but the quality of the recording just sends it over the top. This has to be one of the finest live-in-a-jazz-club recordings ever made. Clear as a bell, great separation and with all the sonic atmosphere of a small space. You feel like you're in the Vanguard listening to a killer jazz trio! Man these guys cook. Wow!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Grahame Hayes on February 5, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Clearly Fred Hersch is one of the great trio pianist around at the moment, and has been for many years. This live gig at the Vanguard brings a certain urgency and vibrancy to his music. A wonderful trio and a great double CD of musicians at the top of their game, seemingly enjoying themselves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David K. Hinshaw on April 26, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a very good live recording at the Vanguard. The musical "communication" among these three is excellent! This is not a group that I would normally follow but this is an excellent event!
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By theloniousmonk on July 14, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Good live album. Has a good sense of life. Made me decide to go and see the trio live at the Jazz Standard.
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