Fred Hersch Jazz Piano Recital
The Pro Piano New York Recital Series
Sunday, October 28, 2001, 4:00pm
Pro Piano Hall
85 Jane Street, New York, New York, 10014
"Songs Without Words: Fred Hersch Solo"
Fred Hersch Bio
A pianist and composer whose work has received nearly universal acclaim in a career spanning over twenty years, Fred Hersch is among the foremost artists in the world of jazz today. Described as "a master who plays it his way" by The New York Times and "a poet of a pianist" by The New Yorker and one of the small handful of brilliant musicians of his generation by Downbeat, Hersch has released seventeen albums as a solo artist or bandleader, two of which were nominated for Grammy awards for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance; he has co-led another twenty albums and has appeared as sideman or featured soloist on over eighty further recordings.
With the release from Nonesuch Records in 2001 of an unprecedented 3-CD set of new mostly solo piano recordings, Songs Without Words, Hersch is taking his rightful place as the most prolific and widely-praised solo jazz pianist of his generation. In this boxed set, Hersch puts his distinctive stamp on three groups of compositions: volume one contains re-interpretations of songs by Cole Porter; volume two is a collection of classic tunes by great jazz composers including Mingus, Monk, Ellington, Gillespie and Shorter; and volume three features a new set of six dazzling original solo piano pieces Songs Without Words as well as new takes on some Herschs best-known compositions. His previous Nonesuch release was Let Yourself Go, an eclectic solo disc recorded live at Boston's famed Jordan Hall. Of this CD, the Los Angeles Times said: "There isn't a false note--technically or emotionally--in the album, a tribute to Hersch's unerring ability to play music that is as intelligent as it is touching, as virtuosic as it is swinging." He had previously released five solo piano CDs; one of these, Thelonious: Fred Hersch Plays Monk was called "a personal triumph of the first order" by The Village Voice and "a landmark album" by the Washington Post, sentiments echoed by critics worldwide. He has given major solo concerts at the Montreal, San Francisco, Rome and London Jazz Festivals; at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Spoleto USA and The Gilmore Keyboard Festival; in Boston, Seattle, New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles; and in England, Northern Ireland, Holland, Scotland, Portugal, France, Germany and Italy.