The second work by Ralph Alessi on CAM Jazz, after the successful debut of “Cognitive Dissonance”. This time the trumpet player shares the honor of appearing on the cover with Fred Hersch, a pianist of great class, who is in perfect accord with his partner in adventure. “Only Many” is prevalently a CD for four hands, proof of the great complicity created in the studio at the time of the recording.
Hersch cites Monk’s “sense of structure, his sense of the beat and his sense of humor” as being influential. Hersch believes that making a solo Monk record, of which there are few, other than those by Monk himself, allowed him to be much more personal with the music.
Reach up to the CD shelf and pull a handful of Fred Hersch CDS down. You'll find that the pianist has a good thing going with the Village Vanguard. Alive At The Vanguard (Palmetto Records, 2012) a stellar two CD set, and terrific solo set, Alone At the Vanguard (Palmetto Records, 2011), are Hersch's most recent recordings from the legendary venue; and now he and his trio offer up Sunday Night At the Vanguard. Hersch says this is his best trio album. Almost every artist says that about their latest—that this one's the best. But he might be right. The vote here would have gone to a studio recording, Whirl (Palmetto Records, 2010), a marvelous in-the-zone effort with this same trio—John Hebert on bass, Eric McPherson playing drums—until Sunday Night At The Vanguard rolled around.
Fred Hersch is one of the most gifted, sensitive, and inspired living jazz musicians. This compilation of celebrated pianist Fred Hersch's best-loved recordings for Chesky culls material from three discs-1991's Forward Motion, 1993's Dancing in the Dark and 1994's The Fred Hersch Trio Plays.
A couple of weeks before the release of Whirl, Fred Hersch was the subject of a long and chilling New York Times Magazine piece by David Hadju. The article related that in late 2008 Hersch, who has suffered from HIV/AIDS-related illnesses for years, had been experiencing symptoms that gradually took his motor functions away – he became delusional; he couldn't swallow, eat, or drink; and he fell into a coma and began to experience the shutting down of his vital organs. Miraculously, he somehow survived. Apparently, Hersch wasn't ready to die or to stop making music, and Whirl is the evidence, his first recording since recovering from his illness, issued on Palmetto and featuring bassist John Hébert and drummer Eric McPherson.
It's quite rare when a jazz duet album between two complementary instruments is so intuitive it often sounds like the work of one player with multiple voices. Such is the case on Free Flying, a live encounter between pianist Fred Hersch and 25-year-old guitarist Julian Lage. The latter is a prodigy who first appeared on a David Grisman album at age eight, played live with Carlos Santana at nine, and by 13 had worked with everyone from Herbie Hancock and Gary Burton (he is still a member of the vibraphonist's New Quartet), as well as issuing a pair of fine solo albums for Emarcy in 2009 and 2011, establishing himself as a mature jazzman.
In order for solo piano playing to be maintained at a high standard, the artist must exhibit a prolific imagination, a wealth of conviction and self-assurance, note-striking precision and a firm sense of swing. Throughout his career, Fred Hersch has exhibited these qualities. Since performers (be they musicians, dancers or actors) are generally defined by their craft (otherwise they are just regular folks like the rest of us) even in these uncertain times, they continue to look for inventive ways to express themselves. Hersch found his in this self-recording from his home in rural Pennsylvania and performed on a familiar but imperfect seven foot Steinway B. He did it by bringing a new openness to an album of covers. "Many of these songs date back to the years before I even knew what jazz was," says Hersch.
Anat Cohen and Fred Hersch, arguably two of most prolific and celebrated artists in modern jazz today, proudly announce the release of their debut duo recording, Live In Healdsburg. The album, due out on Anzic Records on March 9, displays qualities these world-class artists, and expert collaborators, have in abundance: empathy, open hearts, big ears, quick instincts, and an ego-less approach to the music. Cohen and Hersch also have the rare gift of combining virtuosity and beauty, which permeates every note they play. Recorded live at the Healdsburg Jazz Festival, Raven Performing Arts Theater, Healdsburg, CA, June 11, 2016.