Due to some strange aligning of the stars, this week is shaping up to be an unusually exciting week of music in Cincinnati. For starters, tonight and tomorrow (Monday, September 24 and Tuesday, September 25) pianist Fred Hersch will be bringing a trio to the Blue Wisp. I believe it’s this week that Fred’s new 2-CD live set Alive At the Vanguard is being released on Palmetto Records. Alive consists of live performances at the Village Vanguard during a week-long stay with the same trio that’s coming to the Blue Wisp, and it’s one of those rare recordings that deserves “instant classic” status. Among the compositions included is “Doxy,” which was penned by Sonny Rollins; the first recording of it appeared on the Miles Davis album Bag’s Groove in 1954. It’s a nice, sleazy, boozy, bluesy number that I heard saxophonist Jimmy McGary perform one night at Cory’s. A few months later I requested the song before his show began, and he assured me that he wasn’t going to play it – and then, at the end of the last set, he broke it out. Fred Hersch, who grew up in Cincinnati and attended Walnut Hills High School, used to perform with Jimmy McGary, and I’m curious if they ever played the song together; maybe I’ll find out this week. Here’s a video of Fred Hersch playing “Doxy:”
In my next blog entry I’ll write about some of the must-see shows coming to the Midpoint Music Festival.