I got an e-mail from Fred Hersch reminding me to remind you that he’s taking over the Jazz Standard Dec. 9-14 for a whole week of duets. Here’s the order of service:
December 9: Lee Konitz, alto sax
December 10: John Hollenbeck, percussion
December 11: Jane Ira Bloom, soprano sax
December 12: Joe Lovano, tenor sax
December 13: Kate McGarry, voice
December 14: Kurt Elling, voice
Talk about an embarrassment of riches! I doubt if I can catch more than one or two nights, though I’d much prefer to hear them all. Aside from his astonishing roster of collaborators, Hersch happens to be one of the jazz pianists whose music I love best. Here’s part of what I wrote about him a couple of years ago in the New York Times:
Mr. Hersch is frequently compared to Bill Evans–both pianists are greatly admired for their lyricism–but his approach to solo playing is far different. Though Evans made two well-received solo albums, he strongly preferred working with a trio, and his unaccompanied playing tended to be loosely improvisational and sketchy in texture. Mr. Hersch, on the other hand, improvises with the sharp conceptual clarity of a classical composer; instead of merely skimming atop the familiar chord changes of standard songs, he forges them into rigorously structured, wholly personal re-creations. “I like to play orchestrally–juggling several balls, having lots of layers of stuff going on,” he says. Yet even at its most complex, his playing never sounds premeditated: it is as though each song is being spontaneously composed, on the spot and in the moment.
To which I need only add that there will be two shows each night, at 7:30 and 9:30, with an additional 11:30 show on Friday (Lovano) and Saturday (McGarry). Call 212-576-2232 for reservations, or to inquire about buying a three-night pass at a special discount.
Be there. I will.