Fred Hersch, piano/composer
Avishai Cohen, trumpet
Jo Lawry, voice
Richie Barshay, percussion
all seats $25
The Pocket Orchestra is one of several ensembles that pianist and composer Fred Hersch has active at the moment -- including the Fred Hersch Trio and the Fred Hersch Trio +2.
What sets this band apart is that there is no bassist, leaving Hersch -- widely praised as a solo jazz pianist -- free to use his left hand generously and to provide the "orchestra" with the other musical colors around him. The timbre of voice and trumpet suits Hersch's compositions well and provides for wonderful textures with the help of a variety of percussion sounds.
It is an outlet for Hersch's compositions exclusively -- they are wide-ranging and diverse in style. Some have added lyrics by the great British vocalist/lyricist Norma Winstone, others are settings of poems by contemporary American poet Mary Jo Salter, and some are wordless. This distinctive ensemble of first-rate improvisers is another new step in the evolution of this ever-curious musician.