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Hersch with Schwartz and Monk


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The eclectic and unfailingly interesting pianist Fred Hersch will be the guest this week on Jazz From Studio Four, a program hosted by Steve Schwartz on WGBH in Boston. The show includes a live concert by Hersch in the studio and conversation with Schwartz.

A jazz broadcaster on WGBH for a quarter of a century, Schwartz is one of the most skilled interviewers in the field and a fixture on New England radio. The program was recorded in March but airs for the first time Friday, May 15 at 9 p.m. EDT. To hear it in the Boston area, tune in 89.7 FM. On the internet, go to the WGBH web site and click on “Listen Live."

In the meantime,here is an excerpt from the program. It is Hersch playing his solo piano abstraction on Thelonious Monk's already-abstract “Boo Boo's Birthday." The station cleverly attached to the audio track a promotional billboard. Let's just call if gift wrapping.

For comparison, there are two takes of Monk's 1967 quartet recording of “Boo Boo's Birthday" on Underground, the last of his small-group albums and one of the most energized of the Monk releases on Columbia.

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