Fred Hersch and Michael Moore at the 
Kerrytown Concert House

13 Ways At Kerrytown


The trio 13 Ways visited Ann Arbor's Kerrytown Concert House on July 2. Originally formed in 1995 in New York City, it is a cooperative band of musicians who are all experienced players and leaders. Pianist Fred Hersch and reedman Michael Moore played and studied together two decades ago, and drummer Gerry Hemingway is also a longtime member of the New York avant garde scene. 

The program was well conceived with relatively short pieces, several from the Thirteen Ways CD. "Brunheiras" started things off in a mellow tone, with Moore's beautiful clarinet sound. Fred Hersch's "Swamp Thing" was inspired by the Louisiana heat and was appropriately slow and funky. It featured more gorgeous sounds from Moore's (bass) clarinet. Hemingway contributed some solid after-beats for parts of the piece, again fully in character with the tune. The drummer's own "Identity" was closer to modern classical music with sparse and measured sounds. Michael Moore probably chose to play Dutch pianist Misha Mengelberg's "Habanera" since he has spent most of his career in Amsterdam. This charming waltz featured Moore's very well schooled alto sax, but the piece was somewhat marred by Hemingway's overpowering traps. On the next song, Hemingway redeemed himself with some fancy brushwork and impressive hand drumming. Hersch did not really get a chance to stretch out too much until the encore, which also was the most conventional piece of the evening. It was Jaki Byard's "One Note To My Wife," and Hersch created some beautiful runs and chords reminiscent of his one-time teacher. It was a touching tribute, especially for those of us who attended Byard's concert at Kerrytown. Many readers may remember that Byard was murdered in his home not long after his Ann Arbor performance.