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...

3

Solo Piano – Fred Hersch and Ran Blake

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
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 aphorisms. Hersch follows Jarrett's method of immediate creation on the 20-minute "Through the Forest," where he sits down to the piano with no preconceptions and just plays. It is a lengthy rumination more expressionistic than not. "Plainsong" is a quiet piece played mostly on the left side of the keyboard. Hersch always includes a Thelonious Monk composition, reading "Eronel" like a scattering of expressionistic tealeaves, with Hersch out- Monking Monk. The pianist closes the recital with Billy Joel's "And So It Goes." Open Book is a provocative meditation by an artist who has seen and experienced much.

Ran Blake
Something to Live For
Hat Hut
2017

Okay, Okay! So, I did not read the back of the disc so well. While there is some solo Ran Blake here, he spends most of his time in duet with guitarist David Fabris or Clarinetist Guillermo Gregorio, so while my title is not right, it is not inaccurate. Where Fred Hersch allowed the muse to take him wherever it chose, Ran Blake twisted the wheel, bringing his unique brand of pianism into certain focus in the form of a 19-part suite, partly original compositions and partly standards (and not-so-standards). Blake has several things going on here. First is two disparate takes on the spiritual "Elijah Rock" where he freely explores some impressionistic thoughts that could have come from Claude Debussy while resolving the quiet madness with a churchy "amen" coda. Blake is joined by Gregorio for his properly named, four-part "Enigma Suite," where the two channel Franz Kogelman through the dark lens of Morton Feldman. Juxtaposed against the woody clarinet is David Fabris' Jim Hall-inspired electric guitar, which murmurs, then whispers, and finally announces its presence. Blake solo deconstructs Ellington's "Mood Indigo" and Dizzy Gillespie's "A Night in Tunisa" with such invention it can make your head swim.

Tags

Watch

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
Mar29Fri
Fred Hersch Trio
Jazz Forum
Tarrytown, NY
Mar29Fri
Fred Hersch Trio
Jazz Forum
Tarrytown, NY
Mar30Sat
Fred Hersch Trio
Jazz Forum
Tarrytown, NY
Mar30Sat
Fred Hersch Trio
Jazz Forum
Tarrytown, NY
Apr5Fri
Fred Hersch Trio
Manchester Craftsmen's Guild
Pittsburgh, PA
$53.50
Apr10Wed
Fred Hersch And Friends
Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts
Davis, CA
$65
Apr11Thu
Fred Hersch And Friends
Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts
Davis, CA
$65

Shop

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

Related Articles

Read Ten Artists: February 2019 Bailey's Bundles
Ten Artists: February 2019
By C. Michael Bailey
February 4, 2019
Read Memphis Rent Party: The Blues, Rock & Soul in Music's Hometown by Robert Gordon Bailey's Bundles
Memphis Rent Party: The Blues, Rock & Soul in Music's Hometown by Robert Gordon
By C. Michael Bailey
February 3, 2019
Read Lefty Frizzell: An Article From Life - The Complete Recordings Bailey's Bundles
Lefty Frizzell: An Article From Life - The Complete Recordings
By C. Michael Bailey
January 26, 2019
Read Ten Artists: January 2019 Bailey's Bundles
Ten Artists: January 2019
By C. Michael Bailey
January 16, 2019
Read Ben Sidran: Renaissance Man Bailey's Bundles
Ben Sidran: Renaissance Man
By C. Michael Bailey
January 2, 2019
Read Seven Women (Plus Three) 2018 – Part XI Bailey's Bundles
Seven Women (Plus Three) 2018 – Part XI
By C. Michael Bailey
December 6, 2018
Read The Traditional Holidays - 2018 Bailey's Bundles
The Traditional Holidays - 2018
By C. Michael Bailey
November 24, 2018