All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

8

Fred Hersch Trio: Floating

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Live albums and studio albums can by miles or millimeters apart in terms of presentation, conception, quality, layout and reception; it all depends on the circumstances and intentions when a record is made. Pianist Fred Hersch's Floating, for example, nearly erases that potential divide.

While it's against his very nature, Hersch could've haphazardly thrown together a random list of tunes and gone into the studio cold, using an ad hoc group to flesh out this album. In the end, he did the exact opposite. Hersch took his rightfully acclaimed working band—the Fred Hersch Trio—into the studio right after a run at New York's Village Vanguard, the recording sight of his two previous records. Then, he put together a playlist that mimics the nature of one of the trio's live sets, starting with a standard, moving on to originals, throwing in a dose of classic balladry, and ending with a taste of Monk. The end result is a studio album that sits well next to the pianist's live dates.

The aforementioned album-opening standard is "You & The Night & The Music." Here, this warhorse is transformed by the ceaselessly choppy-and-rolling, Latin-inflected 12/8 feel that the trio adopts. Restlessness and respect are the two qualities that shine through as Hersch and company stay faithful to the music in certain ways, yet remain consistently on the move. The title track comes next, occupying a completely different space; it lives up to its name as it drifts and glides along.

Hersch's penchant for penning tributes is well-known at this point, so it should come as no surprise that this album contains more than its fair share of such pieces. Hersch pays respects to his mother and grandmother with a brief episode of beauty ("West Virginia Rose"), tips his cap to this group's bassist—John Hebert—with a swampy-and-groovy show ("Home Fries"), and delivers an airy and loosely flowing tribute to gone-too-soon pianist Shimrit Shoshan ("Far Away"). Other works in this category include a dynamic-yet-sensitive nod to bassist Esperanza Spalding ("Arcata"), a gentle piece written in honor of Finnish artist Maaria Wirkkala, and a swirling, almost-swinging piece for pianist Kevin Hays ("Autumn Haze"); Hersch and Hebert fall into line on that last one, but drummer Eric McPherson cunningly circumvents the feel for the majority of the tune.

The end of the journey—a gorgeously enthralling take on "If Ever I Would Leave You" and a hip run through Monk's "Let's Cool One—further illustrates Hersch's genius and the rapport that exists between these three simpatico travelers.

Track Listing: You & The Night & The Music; Floating; West Virginia Rose (For Florette & Roslyn; Home Fries (For John Hebert); Far Away (For Shimrit); Arcata (For Esperanza); A Speech to the Sea (For Maaria); Autumn Haze (For Kevin Hays); If Ever I Would Leave You; Let's Cool One.

Personnel: Fred Hersch: piano; John Hebert: bass; Eric McPherson: drums.

Title: Floating | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Palmetto Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Whirl

Whirl

Fred Hersch
Fred Hersch Solo

West Virginia Rose / Home Fries

West Virginia Rose / Home Fries

Fred Hersch
Floating

CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
In Pictures
CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
Live Reviews
Read more articles
Live In Europe

Live In Europe

Palmetto Records
2018

buy
Fred Hersch Trio: Live in Europe

Fred Hersch Trio:...

Palmetto Records
2018

buy
Open Book

Open Book

Palmetto Records
2017

buy
Sunday Night at the Vanguard

Sunday Night at the...

Palmetto Records
2016

buy
Sarabande

Sarabande

Sunnyside Records
2016

buy
Solo

Solo

Palmetto Records
2015

buy

Related Articles

Read Picture in Black and White CD/LP/Track Review
Picture in Black and White
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: October 15, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 15, 2018
Read I Ching CD/LP/Track Review
I Ching
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: October 15, 2018
Read Hidden Details CD/LP/Track Review
Hidden Details
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: October 15, 2018
Read We Are the Orchestra CD/LP/Track Review
We Are the Orchestra
by James Fleming
Published: October 14, 2018
Read Electric Miles CD/LP/Track Review
Electric Miles
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 14, 2018
Read "Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Christmas
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 30, 2017
Read "Palmares Fantasy" CD/LP/Track Review Palmares Fantasy
by Chris May
Published: May 28, 2018
Read "Afloat" CD/LP/Track Review Afloat
by Gareth Thompson
Published: November 25, 2017
Read "Spell" CD/LP/Track Review Spell
by Jim Worsley
Published: April 15, 2018
Read "Never Bet The Devil Your Head" CD/LP/Track Review Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Chris Mosey
Published: April 10, 2018
Read "with whom you can be who you are" CD/LP/Track Review with whom you can be who you are
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 21, 2018