Monday, July 20, 2009

Fred Hersch Trio + 2 live at North Sea Jazz 09

Fred Hersch Trio + 2 live at North Sea Jazz 09 ( English) Fred Hersch Trio + 2 speelt live op Northsea 09 ( Nederlands)

Rotterdam - Ahoy: Friday 10th of July, 2009 at the Madeira
Hans Koert

The North Sea Jazz Festival 2009 was scheduled on the 10th up to the 12th of July 2009 at Ahoy in Rotterdam. Hundreds of concerts - hundreds of artists and ten-thousands of visitors from all parts of the world joined the festival. Friday, the 10th of July 2009, when I visited the festival, 18,000 visitors made it feel comfortable – on Saturday and Sunday, with almost 25,000 visitors each night, the venue was jam-packed.

Today I love to point you to a concert by Fred Hersch and his trio ( + 2). The concert was scheduled at the Madeira, Friday the 10th of July, 2009.
I was anxious to hear this New York piano player because a half year ago a great documentary of this man, that fascinated me, titled
Let Yourself Go – Die Leben des Jazz Pianisten Fred Hersch ( The Lives of Fred Hersch) had been released in Germany.

Fred Hersch ( 10th of July 2009 - North Sea Jazz 09 - Rotterdam) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert* )

Fred Hersch was born in Cincinnati, Ohio (USA) in October 1955 and started his career as a jazz piano player with guitarist Cal Collins playing in Cincinnati. He studied music at the New England Conservatory. In 1977 he worked with Art Farmer, who had returned to the States after a ten years stay in Europe and toured with Sam Jones, Billy Harper, Joe Henderson and Stan Getz.
In the 1980s Fred Hersch became part of the
Mel Lewis Orchestra and played with Eddie Daniels and Toots Thielemans. He started his own trio, which lasts up until today. In the documentary Fred Hersch tells freely about his homosexuality, his HIV infection and about his fight to get his sexual inclination accepted in the States. That's why the title of the film reads Die Leben (= The lives) and not Das Leben ( = The life) des Jazz Pianisten Fred Hersch.

Ralph Alessi ( 10th of July, 2009 - North Sea Jazz 09 - Rotterdam) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert*)

Fred Hersch introduced us during his five days tour in Europe, which brought him to Paris, Ghent, Amsterdam and the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, John Hebert on bass and Nasheet Waits on drums. For the Ghent and Rotterdam concerts he had enlarged his trio with trumpet player Ralph Alessi and tenor player Tony Malaby up to his Fred Hersch Trio + 2, a group active for five years now.

Tony Malaby ( 10th of July, 209 - North Sea Jazz 09 - Rotterdam) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert*)

During the concert the Trio + 2 performed the Kenny Wheeler composition The Lark, Skipping and a song, with a hard to pronounce Swahili title: Kijito Mwanana. Fred Hersch also played some Wayne Shorter tunes, like Still Here.
For me it was great to hear Fred Hersch live in concert; now a days one of the best piano players and composers from the east coast of the US. On Sunday Fred Hersch returned to Rotterdam ( after a short trip to the Amsterdam BIMhuis) and the festival to accompany Norma Winstone.

Fred Hersch Trio ( + 2) ( 10th of July 2009 - North Sea Jazz 09 - Rotterdam) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert*)

Last week I wrote about the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the regular band of the Vilage Vanguard in New York City. Isn’t it cute to learn that Fred Hersch and his Trio is playing for a week arrangement at that same Village Vanguard? ( 21st up to 26th of July, 2009). And tonight - each Monday ............. the Village Vanguard Orchestra, of course ...... !!

Nasheet Waits ( 10th ofJuly, 2009 - North Sea Jazz 09 - Rotterdam) ( photo courtesy: Hans Koert*)

* Due to the fact that I wasn’t allow to use my “professional camera” the pictures are of a minor quality – I explained it in a previous blog: North Sea Jazz – A Critical Note.

Hans Koert

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