Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

19

Album Review

Fred Hersch: Songs From Home

Read "Songs From Home" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


As Fred Hersch is sometimes wont to do, this album is built around a story, some of which is intended, and some of which may be embedded in the pianist's unconscious and manifested in his imagination and the way that he plays. The conscious part is simple, and basically stated in the liner notes. Hersch leaves the pandemic conditions around his loft in Manhattan and is in semi-isolation in his country home in northeastern Pennsylvania. He and his partner built ...

8

Album Review

Fred Hersch: Songs From Home

Read "Songs From Home" reviewed by Pierre Giroux


In order for solo piano playing to be maintained at a high standard, the artist must exhibit a prolific imagination, a wealth of conviction and self-assurance, note-striking precision and a firm sense of swing. Throughout his career, Fred Hersch has exhibited these qualities. Since performers (be they musicians, dancers or actors) are generally defined by their craft (otherwise they are just regular folks like the rest of us) even in these uncertain times, they continue to ...

5

Multiple Reviews

3x3: Piano Trios: January 2020

Read "3x3: Piano Trios: January 2020" reviewed by Geno Thackara


Geir Åge Johnsen/Fredrik Sahlander/Bernt Moen 1+1=3 Losen Records 2019 What exactly does this title signify? It isn't quite clear, seeing as there are three players here and each counts as a positive one in any equation. Small mystery and all, though, it's a fun session brimming with good humor and smarts. The players here offer a mix of fresh compositions and old-school jazz staples, all offered with the same melodic charm and sharp dose of ...

12

Album Review

The Fred Hersch Trio: 10 Years / 6 Discs

Read "10 Years / 6 Discs" reviewed by Mark Corroto


You might be surprised by pianist Fred Hersch's response to a near-death coma in 2008. Quoting from his memoir Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life In And Out Of Jazz (Crown Archetype Press, 2017), “a confrontation with death brings home the preciousness of life... It was the newest, brightest, shining, most surprising, most uplifting feeling I had ever had." Listeners need not endure a two-month persistent vegetative state to induce a similar response. They need only listen to Hersch's output ...

5

Album Review

Fred Hersch & the WDR Big Band: Begin Again

Read "Begin Again" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


Throughout pianist Fred Hersch's long career, he has mostly worked in trios and other small units, rarely doing much with large ensembles. That makes this session of Hersch featured with Germany's WDR Big Band a special treat. They play a program of the pianist's compositions from various parts of his career, all arranged and conducted by Vince Mendoza. Mendoza's arrangements and the big band's excellent playing give a new depth and texture to Hersch's writing. On “Rain Waltz," ...

1

Radio

Fred Hersch: Making more out of less

Read "Fred Hersch: Making more out of less" reviewed by Leo Sidran


In this episode, pianist, composer, educator and recording artist Fred Hersch tells how the scene has changed over the years ("people drink less now"), learning to be gracious ("the audience needs to have their experience independent of how you feel about it"), education ("You can spend $200,000 on a jazz performance degree and not make that much money in the next 10 years"), songwriting ("I try to write tunes"), self reflection (""If I want to be the person I can ...

6

Album Review

Fred Hersch & the WDR Big Band: Begin Again

Read "Begin Again" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Pianist Fred Hersch, who needs no introduction to most well-informed jazz enthusiasts, is by and large known as a leader of trios and other small groups. Begin Again displays another side of Hersch's appreciable talents: nine of his handsome compositions, astutely recast by six-time Grammy Award winner Vince Mendoza and impressively performed by Germany's superb WDR Big Band. The diaphanous title song, which opens the album, is the only composition not previously recorded by Hersch. Any lingering ...


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