From the Editor 08-16

Hello everyone–
When I received Fred Hersch’s new trio CD, “Sunday Night at the Vanguard”, I felt pulled in two different directions. As a long-time Hersch fan, I’m always happy to get his latest recordings. However, Hersch is so prolific that I wondered if I could find new insights from this album which I hadn’t shared in previous reviews. I needn’t have worried. Hersch’s latest album is one of the finest piano trio albums I’ve ever heard. I found so much to say that my projected 300-word capsule review easily became a 700-word feature review Please take a look at the review, and then follow the link and buy yourself a copy of this remarkable album. 

This month’s vocal reviews feature three experienced singers whose CDs display unique approaches to the repertoire. I’ve written about Peter Eldridge and Sara Gazarek in these pages before, and after hearing Clare Teal for the first time, I’m sure that I will write much more about her. Our Retro Review spotlights Carmen McRae’s 1976 live album recorded at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall. We have a number of jazz DVD reviews planned for the coming months, and we start with Don Cheadle’s film fantasy on the life of Miles Davis, “Miles Ahead”. This was Cheadle’s directorial debut, and some of the visuals are truly mind-boggling. Finally, our Book Review features a volume which may challenge many readers, “The Jazz of Physics”.  Author Stephon Alexander shows how improvised music (especially the late works of John Coltrane) is related to the laws of the natural world. While there’s a lot of dry scientific writing in this book, the connections between these two seemingly separate worlds are truly eye-opening!

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Thomas Cunniffe

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