What? You say you've never heard of pianist/composer/bandleader Fred Hersch? Just walk into the storied bowels of New York City's Village Vanguard and there on the wall, next to framed signed pictures of John Coltrane and Charles Mingus, is a picture under glass of Fred Hersch. 'Sunday Night at the Vanguard' (Palmetto) is the place to be.
Combining all three of his longstanding bands, drummer Matt Wilson has returned to the studio in full force with a Love Army of family and friends to pay tribute to violinist Felicia Wilson who performed on Matt's 2003 'Humidity,' became his wife and succumbed to leukemia in 2014. The result is a swinging session with moments of tender, bittersweet asides and studio banter. The star here is trumpeter Terell Stafford but the focus is cumulative...a joyous swingfest of epidemic proportions.
Pianist and composer Mike Holober does indeed achieve a 'Balancing Act' on his new Palmetto Records release. The balance in question comes from creative use of Kate McGarry's vocals, sprinkled throughout all eight tracks of these elegant proceedings as if it were but another instrument...which, in a way, it is.
Pianist Fred Hersch, 59, is gearing up for what promises to be an amazing birthday for his big 6-0. First comes 'Solo' (Palmetto Records), a gorgeous piano recital recorded live in an old church high atop the Catskill Mountains of New York at last year's Windham Chamber Music Festival. It's his tenth solo CD.
For his first all-new studio CD in 11 years, David Berkman has new friends and old who can tantalize with carnivalesque action. Drummer Brian Blades and producer Matt Balitsaris return in this three-sax frontline, which features bassist Linda Oh.
Welsh singer-songwriter Donna Lewis will release a new album titled Brand New Day which will feature David King, Reid Anderson and Ethan Iverson.