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Jazz - Released May 11, 2018 | Palmetto+

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
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Jazz - Released September 8, 2017 | Palmetto+

Hi-Res Distinctions Indispensable JAZZ NEWS
Less noisy than Keith Jarrett and less famous than Brad Mehldau (who was his pupil, after all), Fred Hersch is a "jazz" pianist who is all the same very precious: a musician whose every album holds gems of improvisation, and moments of grace. His works have become all the more intense of the the last few years, as they have found themselves shoved into the spotlight of the life of a committed artist. In 2008, this life was almost brought to a premature end. Having contracted AIDS, Hersch spent two months in a coma from which he emerged miraculously. There followed long weeks in which he re-learned the piano, and then, years later, he wrote a piece, My Coma Dreams, on the porous border between dream and reality. Several other albums followed. Playing solo, in a trio, in a duet... this album, brought out in September 2017, is a totally solo work. This is his eleventh solo work, that mixes his own music with works by others (Whisper Not by Benny Golson, Eronel by Monk, Zingaro by Antonip Carlos Jobim and even, more surprising, And So It Goes by Billy Joel!). Those who know Fred Hersch are hardly surprised by the intelligence of his jazz. Nor by his faculty for turning so many phrases of such beauty. Those who don't can take a look in this Open Book, and get their herschian education started as soon as possible...  © MZ/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released January 22, 2016 | Sunnyside

Distinctions Indispensable JAZZ NEWS
Teamed up in a trio with bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Joey Baron, pianist Fred Hersch is heard on this date exploring the modern mainstream of jazz. His thoughtful and exploratory solos on such numbers as Ornette Coleman's "Enfant," Jimmy Rowles' "The Peacocks," "What Is This Thing Called Love," "Blue In Green" and three of his own originals (including the title cut) are full of subtle and generally swinging surprises. This CD is a fine example of Fred Hersch's playing. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released May 17, 2019 | Palmetto+

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
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Jazz - Released January 2, 1999 | ENJA RECORDS Matthias Winckelmann

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
One of the busiest and most dependable musicians of the '90s, pianist Fred Hersch delivers another strong performance with Point in Time, mixing standards, choice jazz classics, and his own creative originals. His trio with bassist Drew Gress and drummer Tom Rainey is featured on four tracks; highlights include his moving rendition of "The Peacocks" and a driving original, "Cat's Paws," dedicated to the late promising pianist Dave Catney who died a few months before these sessions. Tenor saxophonist Rich Perry is featured on the delicate arrangement of "Infant Eyes," while trumpeter Dave Douglas joins Hersch on the pianist's melancholy but insistent "Too Soon." The full quintet is featured on several songs, including the pianist's pulsating post bop title track as well as on "Evidence," which captures the playfulness of its composer, Thelonious Monk. Recommended. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Jazz - Released November 6, 2020 | Palmetto Records

In the early days of the global pandemic, Fred Hersch invited his fans to a daily rendezvous on his Facebook page and performed a live track for them. It was an initiative called Tune of the Day that inspired and contributed to his aptly named album Songs From Home. The American pianist selected 10 themes that he is particularly fond of, both nostalgic and intimate, and recorded them on his Steinway solo in the peace and tranquillity of his home in rural Pennsylvania. He said, “It’s kind of a comfort food album with a little badass stuff in there too. I didn’t want to make an easy listening record, but I did want to play some music that would make people happy”. It’s an album that comes as Hersch celebrates his 65th birthday and he, just like his fellow musicians, is entering an era of uncertainty. “All of my musician friends are faced with similar challenges at this time. The rug got pulled out from under us and our identity has been taken away. So all of us are thinking about how we’re going to make a living until we reach whatever the new paradigm becomes”. Flying blind in this album, Fred Hersch immediately cuts to the chase and showcases the full extent of his impressive playing. The former teacher of Brad Mehldau is arguably today’s most underestimated contemporary jazzman and Songs From Home is a luscious series of original takes on an eclectic selection of tracks. From pop classics (Jim Webb’s legendary Wichita Lineman popularised by Glen Campbell, All I Want by Joni Mitchell, When I’m Sixty Four by the Beatles), to jazz standards (Duke Ellington’s Solitude), hidden gems (Kenny Wheeler’s wonderful Consolation (A Folk Song) and the Great American Songbook (Cole Porter’s Get Out of Town), this album is all about conveying the semantic meaning of the melodies, with a cosy atmosphere and complex design. Fred Hersch never has bad taste in music – there’s not one note too many and not one ounce of complacency, everything is essential. And so is this solo album. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released November 6, 2020 | Palmetto Records

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Jazz - Released June 7, 2019 | Palmetto+

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After a brilliant series of trio and solo projects, Fred Hersch has coupled up his piano with a big band; the Cologne-based WDR Big Band, to be precise. His fellow American Vince Mendoza both conducts and arranges all 9 of Hersch’s original compositions, cherry-picked from his vast repertoire. The pieces are impeccably orchestrated by Mendoza, who juggles energy and refinement, eruptions and discretion, and offers up a colour palette with a thousand beautiful shades. Taking the legacies of Duke Ellington and Gil Evans in completely new directions, the real strength of this album lies in its variety. The soloists’ precision is also outstanding: alto saxophonists Johan Hörlén and Karolina Strassmayer, tenor saxophonist Paul Heller, trumpeters Ruud Breuls and Andy Haderer, trombonists Ludwig Nuss and Andy Hunter and drummer Hans Dekker all embark on meticulous solos. The ocean of music renders Fred Hersch's playing even more weightless than usual, the pianist being accustomed to space and silence. He is never swamped by the big band, instead injecting energy and enthusiasm into the work. A true wonder. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released July 20, 2018 | Sunnyside

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Recorded in December 1989 and released in 1990 on the label Sunnyside, Heartsongs is a strong album in Fred Hersch’s discography, that would only grow stronger in the years that followed. At the age of 35, the American pianist was not yet an internationally renowned master, but his playing and his talent as a composer (he wrote five of the eleven themes) were already grabbing people’s attention. Hersch is joined by the double bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Jeff Hirshfield on this record to mix pieces by George Gershwin (The Man I Love), Wayne Shorter (Fall and Infant Eyes), Thelonious Monk (I Mean You) and Ornette Coleman (The Sphinx). As it is often the case with Hersch, it’s difficult not to mention the very strong influence of Bill Evans. But his piano offers throughout Heartsongs a harmonic personality of its own. A very nice re-release indeed. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released November 7, 2014 | Palmetto Records

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Jazz - Released July 31, 2007 | Nonesuch

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Jazz - Released October 21, 2020 | Palmetto Records

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Jazz - Released January 13, 1998 | Nonesuch

Pianist Fred Hersch has a very different style than Thelonious Monk did, and on this solo tribute CD, he does not attempt to closely emulate Monk. Hersch does hint at Thelonious in spots on the 13 Monk compositions, but mostly performs in a sparse, melodic and quietly playful manner. His interpretations of such songs as "In Walked Bud," "Ask Me Now," "Let's Cool One" and "Misterioso" (which he calls "Five Views of Misterioso") are tasteful yet full of subtle invention. A pleasing and respectful effort. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released July 28, 2009 | Sunnyside

Fred Hersch has long been heralded as a lyrical jazz pianist with a wide and always growing repertoire. For most of this tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim, Hersch plays solo piano, in a manner that reflects much of the authentic aspects of the composer's works, filtered through the pianist's perspective. The emphasis on the delicious counterpoint within his setting of the well-known "O Grande Amor" (a piece he learned during his short tenure in Stan Getz's band) marks a refreshing change from typical jazz recordings. His arrangement of "Insensatez" is almost whispered, played at a very slow tempo, which puts greater emphasis on its melancholy nature, even though no lyrics are heard. "Desafinado" was an obligatory number for jazz musicians during the heyday of bossa nova, but Hersch's skillful, demanding bassline gives it a freshness rarely heard in jazz treatments. The pianist also found several lesser-known but deserving Jobim works in his research for the making of this CD, highlighted by the gorgeous miniature "Por Toda Minha Vida." Percussionist Jamey Haddad is added on the lively "Brigas Nunca Mais." Beautifully recorded on a brilliant-sounding piano, Fred Hersch Plays Jobim is among the finest releases in the pianist's extensive discography. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 19, 1996 | Nonesuch

"A gifted pianist of the Bill Evans school, Fred Hersch composed and arranged this voluptuous collection of music by Duke Ellington's creative alter ego..." © TiVo
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Jazz - Released November 7, 2014 | Palmetto Records

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Jazz - Released October 30, 2015 | Palmetto Records

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Jazz - Released November 7, 2014 | Palmetto Records

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Jazz - Released November 7, 2014 | Palmetto Records

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Jazz - Released October 30, 2015 | Palmetto Records