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(…)