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In Amsterdam: Live At the Bimhuis

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Album Review

Over the years, this brilliant and facile two-time Grammy nominee has evolved from one of jazz's most respected sideman pianists (for artists like Stan Getz, Joe Henderson, and Toots Thielemans) into what the New Yorker calls "a poet of a pianist." Taking that accolade literally, the impressionist performer — whose compositions and performance collaborations speak to the gradual erasure of the boundaries between jazz and classical music — created 2005's Leaves of Grass, a musical interpretation of the poetry of Walt Whitman. In addition to touring this music with an ensemble featuring vocalist Kurt Elling, Hersch performed this unforgettable date in Amsterdam. It's an eclectic program featuring original compositions and others by Monk, Rowles, McHugh, Carmichael, and Jobim, showing the pianist at his creative and improvisational peak. While the performances are sharp and inventive, and the variety of tempos (ranging from the crazy runs of "Evidence" to the graceful and mournful reflections of "At the Close of the Day") keep things interesting, it's best enjoyed by fans of more experimental work than traditional jazz.


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,...
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In Amsterdam: Live At the Bimhuis, Fred Hersch
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