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MULTIPLE REVIEWS

The Rarest of Ivories: Fred Hersch, Joey Alexander, Eliane Elias and Renee Rosnes

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One of jazz music's most durable and venerated instrumental formats, the piano-led ensemble, trio and otherwise, has proven flexible beyond its surface simplicity, particularly in the hands of ingenious musicians like Fred Hersch, Joey Alexander, Eliane Elias and Renee Rosnes. Such composers/players, along with their esteemed accompanists, have optimal opportunity to bring their intrinsic creativity to flower in utilizing the sparse lineup and, in so doing, further bond with their bandmates. The musicians also continue to hone their collective and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fred Hersch: Live In Europe

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Fred Hersch has been a fixture on the New York jazz scene since the 1970s. By now a legendary international figure, Hersch has over the years compiled a powerful and diverse discography that includes everything from jazz standards to original compositions, a mostly solo album of the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim, an original composition, Leaves of Grass, based on the poetry of Walt Whitman, a recording of his own American classical pieces, a free form solo performance at the ...

IN PICTURES
CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fred Hersch Trio: Live In Europe

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Fred Hersch's 2009 recording, Whirl (Palmetto Records), was where pure magic first occurred in the pianist's extensive and consistently superb discography. That particular outing introduced his now long-standing trio with bassist John Hebert and drummer Eric McPherson. Alive At the Vanguard (2012), Floating (2014), and Sunday Night At The Vanguard (2016) by the group followed, all on Palmetto Records. For those who lauded Hersch's solo outing, Open Book (Palmetto Records, 2017) as his finest, most incisive and finely-focused ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Anat Cohen/Fred Hersch: Live In Healdsburg

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When you think of these two lauded artists, duo encounters aren't the first thing likely to come to mind. Pianist Fred Hersch spends most of his time toggling between solo and trio work, and it's almost impossible to keep up with the size and/or scope of clarinetist Anat Cohen's varied pursuits. But that's not to say that the art of the pas de deux doesn't figure into their respective paths. Cohen paired up with guitarist Marcello Gonçalves for Outra Coisa ...

INTERVIEWS

Fred Hersch: Life, Music, and the Creative Process

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Since his arrival on the jazz scene in the 1970s, pianist Fred Hersch has developed from a sought after sideman to a multi-Grammy nominated jazz icon, creative force, and significant composer of songs, jazz standards, and original complete works, the latter including Leaves of Grass (Palmetto, 2005), based upon the poetry of Walt Whitman. As one indication of the high regard in which he is held, Hersch is one of very few musicians invited to do extended solo engagements at ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Fred Hersch's Leaves Of Grass at Jazz at Lincoln Center

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Fred Hersch's Leaves Of Grass The Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center New York, NY September 15, 2017 Walt Whitman's Leaves Of Grass may be the ultimate contemplation on man's commonalities and singularities, underscoring what binds all of humanity and what distinguishes each of us as individuals. And so it's only fitting that Fred Hersch's celebrated musical meditation on the magisterial bard's magnum opus should not only explore said theme, but also amplify it, ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life In And Out Of Jazz

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Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life In And Out Of Jazz Fred Hersch 307 Pages ISBN: #9781101904343 Crown Archetype Press 2017 Disclaimer #1: Like the author, I harbor a blood pathogen (he HIV, me Leukemia) that is intent on killing me. Disclaimer #2: Being of similar age, the author's discovery of jazz as an art form very much paralleled mine. It was September 4, 2015, and I was ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fred Hersch: Open Book

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Slowly but surely, over the last five years, Fred Hersch has been encroaching upon Brad Mehldau's position as the premiere player on jazz piano. And while it's debatable the latter's openness to experimentation with the likes of electronicist/percussionist Mark Giuliana or nouveau bluegrass master Chris Thile renders him superior, it is the very purity of the former's work, relegated to either solo piano or an acoustic trio format, that elevates him in stature. One of 2017's best, continues that process. ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Solo Piano – Fred Hersch and Ran Blake

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Fred Hersch Open Book Palmetto 2017 Pianist Fred Hersch's 2015 release Solo (Palmetto) and the present Open Book recall Keith Jarrett's deeply introspective The Melody at Night, With You (ECM, 2000) with respect to the two artists having survived significant health crises. While Open Book is not as introspective as the Jarrett release, it is thoughtfully conceived and performed. Hersch takes an impressionistic approach Benny Golson's “Whisper Not" and Jobim's “Zingaro," casting them as aural ...