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Straight No Chaser - A Jazz Show


Straight No Chaser is the place for jazz lovers (and those who will soon be jazz lovers) to enjoy podcasts with their favorite music and artists. Winner of the 2017 JazzTimes Readers' Poll for Best Podcast, your host Jeffrey Siegel will take you inside the world of jazz, from the new releases to the best festiva;s to remembrances of jazz legends.

Jun 25, 2010

There was a time when I was afraid we would lose Fred Hersch, one of the most expressive pianists on the scene (check this recent New York Times article). Stricken with HIV, the incredibly prolific perfomer and writer has none the less not missed a beat. If his latest release on Palmetto Records, Whirl, is any indication, he's going stronger than ever.

Hirsch has written brilliant works for dance, chorus, symphony and solo voices, as well as writing and performing for piano duos and trios. His tribute to Brazilian music, Fred Hersch plays Jobim, brought new life to over-played numbers and showed that Hersch is a brilliant interpreter as well as composer and arranger. A direct influence on pianists such as Brad Mehldau  and the Bad Plus' Ethan Iverson (both former students), Hersch stands as a model of the technically gifted pianist who manages to wring emotion and feeling from a number, whether his composition or a cover.

Click here to listen to "Skipping" a track from Whirl featuring Hersch on piano, John Hebert on bass, and Eric McPherson on drums. It's a good example of the kind of spirit that shines through his compositions and performances, and his strong ability to work with his collaborators. He'll be performing this new material in public over the summer months, so check your jazz listings to catch him at a createive peak.