Philadelphia bassist Christian McBride has expanded his vernacular. He's already led a swinging big-band and a progressive quintet (Inside Straight) after distinguishing himself with Chick Corea and Wynton Marsalis. Now we can add the trio format to his impressive resume...and it's 'Live At The Village Vanguard (Mack Avenue Records).
In a nation full of monuments, of which President Barack Obama has been on a crusade to protect, there may be no city in the U.S. more historically rooted in Americana than New York City. But on a smaller scale, through a more narrow scope, it is the city's underground and word-of-mouth venues, the clubs like the Village Vanguard, that have yet to close -- or, for that matter, change. The jazz club has turned 80 years old.
For renowned jazz pianist Fred Hersch, a medical ordeal has become the topic of his new DVD "My Coma Dreams," a single actor-driven theater piece accompanied in large part by instrumental music. The disc comes out Monday, Dec. 8, in recognition of World AIDS Day. A most unfortunate medical peril, the 90-minute narrative covers the eight dreams Hersch recalled after regaining consciousness from a coma in 2008. And after he was rehabilitated, he conveyed the surreal dreamscape to his friend, librettist and composer Herschel Garfein. If you were not aware, back in June 2008 Hersch fell ill and was confined to his bath tub, where he was rushed to the hospital immediately. Once he reached St. Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village, he was in septic shock. The doctors diagnosed him with pneumonia and organ failure, and he was induced into a coma for eight weeks. Nine months later he had made a full recovery, and by January was playing at the Village Vanguard — quite the resilient composer.