Thursday, December 20, 2012
The Rest Of The Best Of....
www.tednash.com and read his fun blog; one gets quite the view of a working musician dealingwith everyday life.
www.fredhersch.com), the pianist talks about his approach to his Trio music; "I want danger. And this trio to me has the requisite amount of danger, and at the same time, the requisite amount of respect and depth, in equal parts." Fred Hersch, along with bassist John Hebert and drummer Eric McPherson, really does come "Alive At The Vanguard" (Palmetto Records) and this CD, recorded several years after the pianist's nearly-fatal illness, bustles with life and shines with quiet joy. Melody swims alongside harmony, rhythms jump, dance and caress while solos are trenchant and heartfelt.
Whether organizing and leading the Captain Black Big Band or fronting a piano trio, Orrin Evans creates music that is as engaging as it is challenging. Evans is a musician whose musical vocabulary seems limitless. "Flip The Script" (Posi-Tone Records) features the interactive trio of Evans, Ben Wolfe (bass) and Donald Edwards (drums) moving through a program where rhythm, harmony and melody move in and out in a manner that belies slickness; one can intuit how comfortable and free the musicians feel with each other and the material. Yes, there are countless piano trio recording to choose from - many of them impressive (see paragraph above) - but Orrin Evans and company make the time spent listening well worth it.
"Suite of the East" (Anzic Records) may have been recorded 6 years ago but this music feels fresh, invigorating and contemporary. Composer/bassist Omer Avital assembled this ensemble of Omer Klein (piano), Joel Frahm (tenor saxophone), Avishai Cohen (trumpet) and Daniel Freedman (drums) knowing the musicians could interpret his blend of Israeli, North African and African-American music so that the listener would concentrate on the creativity and the power (this music hits many incredible climaxes) within his ideas. Plus, Avital is a very impressive bassist, such a melodic and rhythmic force, that one is easily swept up in this journey.
Yes, there will be one more column dedicated to 2012 that will be concerned with several other recordings (most of which I did not get to review) that resonated deeply over the year. In the meantime, have a peaceful Holiday season, one in which the music you love can help soothe the wounds caused by the (often) uncaring world.