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Album Review

Before Fred Hersch's star rose during the 1990s, resulting in several Grammy nominations, he was quietly establishing himself as one of the most lyrical up-and-coming pianists, as he demonstrates on these 1989 studio sessions. Accompanied by bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Jeff Hirschfield, he surprises the listener right away with a fresh approach to the oft-heard standard "The Man I Love," gliding over Hirschfield's adept brushwork and Formanek's soft, spacious bassline. Wayne Shorter's "Infant Eyes" also benefits from Hersch's minimalist approach, shimmering in an arrangement in which the leader and the bassist alternate solos. But Hersch best demonstrates his considerable gifts as a composer. "Heartsong" is a captivating work that he has sometimes played in a solo setting, though this trio version proves to be explosive. "Evanessence" is a gorgeous tribute to the late Bill Evans, with a superb solo by Formanek reminiscent of Scott LaFaro's fleet performances with Evans. Although Fred Hersch has made released many memorable CDs since this Sunnyside release, this fine effort is also well worth investigating.


Born: 21 October 1955 in Cincinnati, OH

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A superior soloist, accompanist, and interpreter of ballads, Fred Hersch started playing piano when he was four. He moved to New York in 1977 and worked as a sideman with many players including Stan Getz, Joe Henderson, Toots Thielemans, Art Farmer, Jane Ira Bloom, Eddie Daniels, and Janis Siegel, in addition to leading his own groups. During 1980-1986, he taught at the New England Conservatory and became part of the faculty at the New School. In addition, Hersch has recorded extensively as a leader,...
Full bio
Heartsongs, Fred Hersch
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 1989

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