'Home Fries,' a serving of characteristic elegance from the Fred Hersch Trio | Bleader

'Home Fries,' a serving of characteristic elegance from the Fred Hersch Trio

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Fred Hersch
The trio led by pianist Fred Hersch is one of the most malleable, graceful, and exciting working bands in jazz—qualities that shine brightest in the live setting—so it's no wonder that in 2012 the group (which includes bassist John Hébert and drummer Eric McPherson) released the excellent two-CD set Alive at the Vanguard (Palmetto) to show off its inherent dynamism and rapport. Hersch seems well aware of those strengths himself, because on the group's new studio album, Floating (also released by Palmetto), the sequence of tracks was modeled after typical club set: the album opens with a standard from the Great American Songbook ("You and the Night and the Music"), follows with a diverse assortment of original tunes, and concludes with another standard ("If Ever I Would Leave You") and a Thelonious Monk composition ("Let's Cool One"). While the performances on Floating may be a bit more tempered and cool than a live show, the arc of the collection does indeed mirror what unfolds in a typical club set. For today's 12 O'Clock Track you can listen to Hersch's composition "Home Fries." The pianist will give a couple of solo performances at Constellation on Tuesday evening.

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