At Jordan Hall may not be as adventurous as Hersch's last solo outing, Thelonious, but it's still a fine recital by a very talented pianist. Hersch returns to his alma mater, The New England Conservatory of Music and delivers a nine-song program of classic ballads (I Loves You, Porgy), pop songs (My Old Man), bop (Blue Monk) and originals (..departed). Through it all, Hersch conjures up images of his two main influences, Bill Evans and Thelonious Monk. He shares Bill's quiet, introspective touch and Monk's quirky, slightly off-kilter harmonies. While Hersch may draw from these masters, he has managed to retain his individuality and identity. At Jordan Hall gives listeners an intimate look at an artist deeply involved in the music and totally committed to his craft. A lovely recording. ****
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.