Fred Hersch creates works that often feel orchestral even if he is playing solo or with his trio. Plus, he plays with such fluidity, the phrases flowing forward with grace and intelligence. With the addition of Vince Mendoza's fine arrangement and the smashing work of the WDR Big Band, "Begin Again" is masterful and delightful!
For more information, go to fredhersch.com.
Give a listen to this handsome ballad:
Fred Hersch: composer, piano;
Vince Mendoza: arranger, conductor;
Wim Both: trumpet; Rob Bruynen: trumpet; Andy Haderer: trumpet; Ruud Breuls: trumpet;
Johan Horlen: alto sax; Karolina Strassmayer: alto sax; Olivier Peters: tenor sax; Paul Heller: tenor sax; Jens Neufang: baritone sax;
Ludwig Nuss: trombone; Andrea Andreoli: trombone; Andy Hunter: trombone; Mattis Cederberg: bass trombone, tuba;
Paul Shigihara: guitar;
John Goldsby: bass;
Hans Dekker: drums.
Pasar el Tiempo, Aunque Fugaz, Contigo" sizzles with the fire of Tito Puente and Arturo O'Farrill with a melody line built from the percussion (Macbride and Samuel Torres really shine). Perez also contributes "Flights of Angels" - again, the melody/theme is provided by the reeds and brass sections which lead to fine solos from the bassist and guitarist Wintz. Perez's Latin (musical) roots are on display on the burning "Me Lo Dijo Mi Primo." The rhythm section is absolutely on fire setting the stage and pace for a fiery, expansive, solo from John Ellis (tenor sax) – when he interacts with the brass in the middle of the solo, the music gets even hotter.
Meanwhile co-leader Thomas's "Longing" is not only another intelligent melody but yet again, the music opens up to fine solo, this time from the baritone sax of Andy Gutauskas and the trombone of John Fedchock (the most experienced member of the Band). The album closes with Thomas's "Think Tank", a funky work that explores the different voices within each section plus a whirling dervish of a soprano sax solo from the composer.
In a year whether have been a plethora of fine big band and large ensemble albums, "One Day Wonder" stands out. The music that co-leaders Edward Perez and Michael Thomas have created and curated for this band is uniformly excellent; the musicians that have assembled shine throughout and they all contribute. One hopes that the Terraza Big Band continues to thrive and grow in the coming years and beyond.
For more information, go to www.terrazabigband.com/home.
Here's the title track:
Miho Hazama - conductor
Michael Thomas, Roman Filiú, Troy Roberts, John Ellis, Andy Gutauskas - saxophones
Sam Hoyt, Alex Norris, Josh Deutsch, David Neves - trumpets
John Fedchock, Nick Vayenas, Matt McDonald, Jennifer Wharton - trombones
Alex Wintz - guitar
Luis Perdomo - piano
Edward Perez - bass
Jimmy Macbride - drums
Samuel Torres - percussion