Fred Hersch Trio w/ John Hébert and Eric McPherson
Two Grammy Award nominations (of a total of seventeen, including three for the trio) for Fred Hersch: best jazz solo and best instrumental jazz album in 2018. Add that in 2016 and 2018 Hersch was named Jazz Pianist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association.
Few contemporary jazz musicians are equally charismatic.
And rightly so.
Fred Hersch seems to be completely indifferent to genres. He plays a music that does not follow any particular pianist, among those before his time, while many others have followed him, for example Brad Mehldau or Ethan Iverson, both his students. He is an authentic free hitter who has traced his path and follows it without succumbing to successful styles and trends. He favours the emotive and emotional side of music and does not care about virtuosity. He is not one of those who try to build a persona to sell with good communication but entrusts everything to the music he plays: it is the music that speaks for him. A music that blends tradition and innovation, lyricism and energy, jazz language and classical culture.
This is why the consideration in which Hersch is held today in jazz (and not only) circles is enormous. In 2010 the New York Times Sunday Magazine dedicated a long article to him by David Hadju entitled “Giant Steps: The Survival of a Great Jazz Pianist”. In fact, Fred Hersch was really close to death, and in coma, due to a serious illness in 2008. He has overcome that terrible period and music has got back a “Great Jazz Pianist”.
Apart from piano solo and trio, Hersch has collaborated throughout his career with, among others, Stan Getz, Bill Frisell, Julian Lage, Anat Cohen, Joe Henderson, Janis Siegel, Leny Andrade, Lee Konitz.
For Hersch this is his debut at Umbria Jazz.