"Sunday Night at The Vanguard" is composed of music from the last night of a six-day run at the venerated New York City landmark. There are artists who record every note of a long engagement and labels who chose to release multi-disk sets but Fred Hersch chose to give listeners what he thought was the "lightning in a bottle" of a night when the band was "in the zone" - this glorious album should make you want to see the band live. And, do go see and hear them as The Fred Hersch Trio is among the best ensembles of any size playing in this day and age.
For more information, go to www.fredhersch.com. This recording will be released on August 12, 2016.
"Latin American Songbook" (to be released in late August on Sunnyside Records) is a gracious and highly musical journey to the roots of Edward Simon. Featuring drummer Adam Cruz and bassist Joe Martin, the pianist has chosen music that helped shape him as a musician and person, pieces he had first explored as a young student or had played behind his father or heard on the radio.Simon has such an articulate way of playing a melody one can hear the words as they flow through his fingers. Pieces such as "Alfonsina Y el Mar" (from Argentinean composer/pianist Ariel Ramírez) and the dramatically solemn "Gracias a la Vida" (by Chilean composer and activist Violeta Parra) showcase the excellent work of Simon and Martin, whose bass solos are often stunning and always melodic.
|photo: Scott Chernis|
"Volver" (Return), a lovely tango composed in 1934 by Argentinean actor, composer, and singer Carlos Gardel, moves with grace and urgency, Simon's chordal work and generous improvisation over the pulsating rhythm section (listen closely to ever-changing inventions of Cruz). The final track, a sublime performance of "En la Orilla del Mundo" (At the End of the World) by Cuban composer Martin Rojaz, is so musical and so emotionally rich. Simon first heard the piece performed by Charlie Haden and pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba; here, the melody falls like a rain shower over the spare yet melodic bass line and the soft brushes. It's a masterful finish to an excellent album.
Edward Simon excels in a trio setting and has since his 1990's recordings through his work with John Pattitucci and Brian Blade. "Latin American Songbook" introduces a new ensemble (he has recorded with Adam Cruz for CrissCross but never with Joe Martin) but the intent is the same - make the finest artistic statement one can. This is music that moves and will move you as well.
For more information, go to www.edwardsimon.com and sunnysidezone.com/album/latin-american-songbook-2.
Here's the Trio live playing a song not on the album:
The 11 tracks on "Moon" (four by Cervini, three each by Donnelly and Fortin, and an exciting reading of "Counter of the Cumulus" from the catalog of Disasterpeace), have a great deal of variety. From the throbbing beat of "Skeleton Key" (with its drone-like melodies from piano and bass) to the solemn ballad "Stoner" to the playful stop-start rock of "Brother Dom", this music keeps one interested. The blend of acoustic and electric bass on Fortin's "Peak Fall" and how it enhances and wraps around the piano melody takes the ballad and expands its rhythmic range (listen to the interplay of bass and drums during Fortin's solo). Cervini's "Ameiliasburg" has an Erik Satie-like simplicity in its unadorned melody and quiet backing - the shortest track on the disc, it is a lovely and emotional tone poem.
For more information, go to www.myriad3.com.
Have a listen to the opening track: