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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 ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Of Stories, Songs, and Self: Fred Hersch's Good Things Happen Slowly & Open Book

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Most everything in Fred Hersch's oeuvre has always miraculously existed as slow read and page-turner all at once. The many phrases, songs, and albums spun from the mind and fingers of this highly expressive pianist-composer have been something to really take time with, to be savored and appreciated for their beauty and depth of creative thought. But his performances simultaneously invite curiosity about what sits around the next bend. That seemingly paradoxical duality is just one of the many gifts ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fred Hersch: Open Book

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In the aftermath of his coma and very possible demise back in 2008, pianist Fred Hersch blossomed from a status as a first rate jazz pianist into the rarified air of one of the handful of top practitioners of that art form. A series of post-illness albums, from Whirl (2010), to Alone At The Vanguard (2011) to Floating (2014), Solo (2015) and Sunday Night At the Vanguard (2016), all on Palmetto Records, are all solo and trio outings that reveal ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fred Hersch Trio: Sunday Night At The Vanguard

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The thing about a Fred Hersch Trio recording, is that it's like a family meal at your favorite restaurant. While the kids want to start with dessert first, you may want them to enjoy the appetizers and settle in for a delicious meal before the sweets. With Hersch's trio, the last course is almost always a Thelonious Monk composition. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. The favorite restaurant here is New York's Village Vanguard, the incomparable club ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Fred Hersch Trio: Sunday Night At The Vanguard

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Reach up to the CD shelf and pull a handful of Fred Hersch CDS down. You'll find that the pianist has a good thing going with the Village Vanguard. Alive At The Vanguard (Palmetto Records, 2012) a stellar two CD set, and terrific solo set, Alone At the Vanguard (Palmetto Records, 2011), are Hersch's most recent recordings from the legendary venue; and now he and his trio offer up Sunday Night At the Vanguard. Hersch says this is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fred Hersch: Sarabande

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Sarabande is a re-mastered reissue of a recording done in 1986, and should be welcomed with open arms. Those who know pianist Fred Hersch get to hear the early work of an now-acknowledged master; those who do not can hear timeless playing from thirty years ago. In the notes, Hersch has dedicated this reissue to bassist Charlie Haden with a back story which can be summarized as follows: in 1984, Hersch began playing with Haden, and in 1986 ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Fred Hersch Trio at The Village Vanguard

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Fred Hersch Trio Village Vanguard New York, NY October 26, 2015 While sitting in wait before a set at New York's Village Vanguard, the eyes are inevitably drawn to the various photos, posters, and odds and ends lining the walls--images and items that may seem random and incongruous to the unknowing eye, yet actually serve as a patched-together, semi-photojournalistic spread detailing the venue's storied past. You spot dearly departed legends inextricably linked to the ...


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