Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

12

Fred Hersch: Solo

Mark Sullivan By

Sign in to view read count
To paraphrase the famous remark Miles Davis made about Bill Evans, Fred Hersch plays the piano the way it ought to be played. This album documents a live performance from August, 2014, which was not originally intended for release. But when Hersch listened to it, he changed his mind. "I firmly believe this may be the all-around best solo album I've ever done, " he says. "I liked the piano and the environment of playing in a small wooden church just big enough to get some reverberance."

Hersch eases into the program with a medley of Jobim's "Olha Maria" and "O Grande Amor," their seductive lilt showcasing his way with a beautiful melody. "Caravan" is taken at a loping pace ("like camels very slowly crossing the desert," Hersh says), but is full of wit and technical brilliance, as he plays with the acoustic space of the church. Hersch's own "Pastorale (for Robert Schumann)" is as stately and gentle as the title implies. The other original, "Whirl (for Suzanne Farrell)" also sounds just like the title, an energetic (but controlled) twirl, like a dancer spinning across the stage. "The Song Is You" fills the standard ballad slot here, as lush as any ballad lover could ask for.

"In Walked Bud" is the most energetic piece in the set by far, full of wild invention and contrapuntal flights. While Hersh's interpretation probably couldn't be called "Monkian," I like to think Thelonious Monk himself would have approved of this creative and wide-ranging treatment. Plus it does include a bit of the stride style that Monk sometimes employed. The set closes with a lovely, reflective version of a modern standard: Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" (which had previously been given a jazz arrangement on Herbie Hancock's River: The Joni Letters (Verve, 2007)). Hersch makes a good case for adding Mitchell's songs to the Great American Songbook (even if she is technically Canadian).

A varied program, with inspired playing throughout. While the album title sounds a bit generic, the music is anything but.

Track Listing: Olha Maria/O Grande Amor; Caravan; Pastorale (For Robert Schumann); Whirl (For Suzanne Farrell); The Song Is You; In Walked Bud; Both Sides Now.

Personnel: Fred Hersch: piano

Title: Solo | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Palmetto Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Whirl

Whirl

Fred Hersch
Fred Hersch Solo

West Virginia Rose / Home Fries

West Virginia Rose / Home Fries

Fred Hersch
Floating

Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
In Pictures
Album Reviews
Interviews
Live Reviews
Book Reviews
Album Reviews
Bailey's Bundles
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Live In Europe

Live In Europe

Palmetto Records
2018

buy
Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard

Fred Hersch Trio '97...

Palmetto Records
2018

buy
Open Book

Open Book

Palmetto Records
2017

buy
Sunday Night at the Vanguard

Sunday Night at the...

Palmetto Records
2016

buy
Sarabande

Sarabande

Sunnyside Records
2016

buy
Solo

Solo

Palmetto Records
2015

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Apr5Fri
Fred Hersch Trio
Manchester Craftsmen's Guild
Pittsburgh, PA
$53.50
Apr27Sat
Kurt Elling, Fred Hersch, Kate McGarry
Baldwin Auditorium
Durham, NC

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Live at the Black Musicians' Conference, 1981 Album Reviews
Live at the Black Musicians' Conference, 1981
By John Sharpe
January 20, 2019
Read More Than One Thing Album Reviews
More Than One Thing
By Gareth Thompson
January 20, 2019
Read Wandering Monster Album Reviews
Wandering Monster
By Roger Farbey
January 20, 2019
Read Pattern Recognition Album Reviews
Pattern Recognition
By Chris M. Slawecki
January 20, 2019
Read Come And Stay With Me: The UK 45's 1964-1969 Album Reviews
Come And Stay With Me: The UK 45's 1964-1969
By Doug Collette
January 19, 2019
Read Beggars Banquet 50th Anniversary Edition Album Reviews
Beggars Banquet 50th Anniversary Edition
By Doug Collette
January 19, 2019
Read Circuits Album Reviews
Circuits
By Sammy Stein
January 19, 2019