Alive at the Vanguard
Released: Jan 2012
The pianist has only been getting stronger -- as revealed on albums like Whirl and Alone at the Vanguard -- but this band makes him even better. The live-wire dynamics at play in the opening seconds of "Havana," a Hersch original, show what this double album offers: a restlessness, and a vitality that sustains, whether the band is playing standards with a hushed quality ("Softly as in a Morning Sunrise") or pushing them to new places, as on the Ornette Coleman/Miles medley. Mary Halvorson Trio bassist John Hebert shines there, and throughout. Top shelf stuff.