Vince Mendoza’s colorful arrangements give us a welcome new way to appreciate Fred Hersch’s impressive creativity — his amply satisfying accomplishments as a composer.
Part one of this survey looked at one upcoming performance and five CDs where music takes the leading role. This post looks at the other side of the coin, where the words are the wellspring for the music.
Good things come in threes.
A gripping autobiography and beautiful new solo CD from a master jazz pianist — Fred Hersch.
Time has only made the members of this trio more adventurous as well as accomplished.
As a soloist, Fred Hersch is a wonder: he plays with an active, to the point of restless, two-handed style that sweeps a listener along with its lyrical fervor.
Pianist Fred Hersch’s ballad playing is one of the special treats in contemporary jazz.
The set was thrilling, full of the most intelligent byplay, and consistently songful. Chamber music doesn’t get any better than this.
One of the remarkable aspects of these duets is that almost nowhere is either player — Fred Hersch or Julian Lage — reduced to mere comping.
I cite the repertoire only to give you a sense of the breadth of the material Jason Moran and Fred Hersch built on. The glory of the evening was the complete integration of the two pianists’ musical thought.