There is a reason why bassist Drew Gress and drummer Nasheet Waits' names are prominently displayed on Hersch's first trio date in eight years: While the pianist is the group's leader, his sidemen's i

There is a reason why bassist Drew Gress and drummer Nasheet Waits' names are prominently displayed on Hersch's first trio date in eight years: While the pianist is the group's leader, his sidemen's impact is inestimable. When Hersch navigates Monk's "Bemsha Swing," Gress and Waits enter so gently alongside him that their presence is at first felt more than actually registered. On other cuts, such as

Hersch's "Stuttering," the trio engages in cooperative dialog so intense that one feels a desire to jump up and applaud their efforts. Hersch's sage improvisations, too, never fail to captivate, alternately waxing introspectively sublime and outright dynamic.—SG