All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Fred Hersch: Plays Jobim

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist Fred Hersch's influence and prominence in modern jazz speaks proverbial volumes, whether performing as an ensemble leader or as a solo performer, evidenced here on his renditions of Antonio Carlos Jobim's songbook. As might be anticipated, Hersch approaches the material from a deeply personalized perspective. He refrains from dishing out note-for-note readings by morphing variable rhythmic patterns and gobs of depth amid stately classical structures and other factors.

The pianist's imaginative interpretations yield bountiful fruit throughout these nine pieces. Hersch fuses an austere classical phraseology into "O Grande Amor," while prominently highlighting the inherent melody line within dashes of eloquence and technical marksmanship. His penchants for nuance and subtlety are evident, and it's all enamored by a nouveau spin on Jobim's distinct compositional style.

Hersch initiates "Insensatez," with a quietly probing gait, and opens it up during the bridge atop a rolling pulse and his dainty rendering of the primary theme. Moreover, he finalizes with a sequence of hush-toned progressions and ever-so-gentle single note lines. Percussionist Jamey Haddad appears on the buoyant and upbeat "Brigas Nunca Mais," and Hersch closes out the proceedings with "Corcovado," where he expressively merges pensive notes with understated motifs and lushly organized chord clusters.

Thankfully, it's not just another tribute album, but more of a building block for the pianist's vast assimilation of ideas and concepts. He drills deep, while not surfacing as overly cerebral or tricky. Hersch is clever all right, but the output transcends the norm. It's a pleasurable listen, awash with quaint little surprises and cunning deviations that enables the music to sound fresh and invigorating; consummated by the artist's masterful touch.

Track Listing: Por Toda Minha Vida; O Grande Amor; Luiza; Meditacao; Insensatez; Brigas Nunca Mais; Modinha/Olha Maria; Desafinado; Corcovado.

Personnel: Fred Hersch: piano; Jamey Haddad: percussion (6).

Title: Plays Jobim | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records


comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Wherever You're Starting From CD/LP/Track Review
Wherever You're Starting From
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery CD/LP/Track Review
Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 21, 2018
Read From Silence to Somewhere CD/LP/Track Review
From Silence to Somewhere
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Never Bet The Devil Your Head CD/LP/Track Review
Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 21, 2018
Read The Questions CD/LP/Track Review
The Questions
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Meerkat Parade CD/LP/Track Review
Meerkat Parade
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 20, 2018
Read "50" CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Solo a Genova" CD/LP/Track Review Solo a Genova
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 18, 2018
Read "Forest Grove" CD/LP/Track Review Forest Grove
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 6, 2017
Read "Cross-Platform Interchange" CD/LP/Track Review Cross-Platform Interchange
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 4, 2017
Read "Alom Mola" CD/LP/Track Review Alom Mola
by John Eyles
Published: May 10, 2017
Read "Live at Nectar’s" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Nectar’s
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 14, 2017