Among the many things I love listening to, a show at the Village Vanguard ranks high up on the list. Especially when Fred Hersch is playing. Tonight I had the good fortune to be invited into Fred's gorgeous sound. Now, as a brass player, I understand the concept of beautiful tone production. But-- despite growing up around a pianist grandfather who owned one of the top Steinway piano stores in the U.S-- I've never understood how beautiful tone production is achieved on a piano. This is probably for the best, because I revel in the naive amazement of being soothed by every note that comes out of the instrument when Fred plays.
Last time I came to the Vanguard was to enjoy the Brian Blade Fellowship, which was one of the pivotal concerts of the year for me. What I love most about the Vanguard is its intimacy: it feels as if you're in someone's living room, the walls peppered with several photos of jazz legends, and the welcoming sounds of the piano, with the perfect acoustical balance of warmth and clarity.
If you missed Fred's show, or if you want to relive the experience, check out a show from an earlier performance here.