The Village Vanguard
New York City is still the world capital of jazz. The number of high quality jazz venues and outstanding muscians playing there is second to none.
I’m about to head to New York today for a short trip. The last time I was there, about 5-6 weeks ago, I had the opportunity, on a Sunday night, to go to my favorite of all the clubs, the legendary Village Vanguard.
The club is a tiny affair in Greenwich Village. It was founded in 1935, and became a full time jazz venue in 1957.
To get a feel of the importance of this little club, just type the name into your favorite streaming provider or online record store (or simply YouTube). You’ll find outstanding albums like Bill Evans’ legendary album Waltz For Debby , or his full set Complete At The Village Vanguard. On my blog, beyond these, I’ve also already mentioned other albums that were recorded there, like Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride, Enrico Pieranunzi, coincidentally all in the same blog post about 9 Outstanding Live Jazz Recordings, as well as Cecile McLorin Salvant’s Dreams and Daggers.
So, as mentioned above, I had the opportunity to see Fred Hersch live. Fred Hersch has the reputation of being one of the most intellectual of all jazz pianists. When you see him, that doesn’t surprise you, he looks somewhat like a university professor (which by the way he is as well, with former students like the above mentioned Brad Mehldau).
I’m not going to review the concert, which as usual in this fantastically intimate space, was a real pleasure, but instead point you to an album that was recorded 4 years ago in a very similar situation.
Fred Hersch Trio – Sunday Night At The Village Vanguard (Palmetto Records 2016)
This album captures very well the very typical Fred Hersch style as well as the intimate acoustics of the venue. My favorite track is For No One, a very delicate ballad.
I strongly suggest you check this album out, and obviously, if you ever get to NYC, make sure to check out what may potentially be the best jazz club on the planet, as I will most certainly do tomorrow night.
My rating: 4 stars