Fred Hersch

Audio: Fred Hersch and Julian Lage

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At the Village Vanguard: Fred Hersch

Her­sch has gone through some extra­or­di­nar­ily try­ing med­ical dif­fi­cul­ties over the past years, and they’ve had an unavoid­able and impor­tant effect on his music-making. The art of jazz, cre­at­ing and inter­pret­ing and lis­ten­ing in the moment, is as sub­jec­tive as music gets, so what the per­sonal his­tory means for Hersch’s play­ing is dif­fer­ent for him­self and every­one in the audi­ence, in the club or at home. My per­sonal expe­ri­ence with him is that I admired the qual­ity of his play­ing with­out every find­ing a lot of per­sonal attrac­tion in it. In my ears, there was always a self-consciousness in it about where he fit into the his­tory and con­tin­uum of jazz that was off-putting, a kind of con­stant eval­u­a­tion of what he had just played and was about to play in terms of how it related to other music and musi­cians, and only sec­on­dar­ily about express­ing him­self through jazz.

Cabinet of Curiosities

The tin­ker­ing under the hood con­tin­ues (it seems like it will never end, but it will, I promise, I think I’ve solved all my tech­ni­cal issues), and the music con­tin­ues, so have some Fri­day links and mis­cel­lany: ‘“After tax, that’s like, what, $75,000?” an invest­ment banker at a rival firm said as he con­tem­plated Morgan(…)