Fred Hersch
Jazz Pianist & Composer


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Release Date


Record Label

Palmetto Records

Track Listing

1. You & The Night & The Music
2. Floating
3. West Virginia Rose
4. Home Fries
5. Far Away
6. Arcata
7. A Speech to the Sea
8. Autumn Haze
9. If Ever I Would Leave You
10. Let's Cool One


This CD is sequenced the way we play a live set in a club or in concert. We often open with a standard, play some original music, the penultimate tune is a ballad from the American Popular Songbook – and we almost always end with a Monk tune. A few notes on the original compositions…

Floating is the magic sound-place where this trio lives a lot of the time – trusting each other so much that we can leave space. I used minimal musical materials in the piece and we just let the harmonic colors and the vibe of the tune do the rest. My mother is from West Virginia and she is named Florette. Her mother’s name was Roslyn so they both have floral names – West Virginia Rose is for them. John Hébert is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana so of course Home Fries has a New Orleans “second line” time feel. Far Away is dedicated to the beautiful and talented Israeli jazz pianist, Shimrit Shoshan, who passed away far too young at the age of 29. The town of Arcata is in Northern California, almost to Oregon, and is the spectacular place where the redwood forests meet the ocean; the tune is for bassist/composer/vocalist Esperanza Spalding who is from Oregon, has great energy and loves cool bass lines. A Speech to the Sea (and the cover photograph) was a site-specific art installation on the Sea of Japan by Finnish artist Maaria Wirkkala; we met at an artists’ residency in Umbria in the fall of 2013 and I found her work to be very inspiring. Kevin Hays is a great pianist and good friend – Autumn Haze is for him. — Fred Hersch

Special Thanks to: John and Eric for being one of the great rhythm sections in the world and for approaching this music with energy and love; James Farber for great sound and being a complete pleasure to work with; Ryan at Oktaven Audio; Mark at Battery Studios; Arlan Harris; Missi and Robert at Palmetto for their continued support of my work; Ann Braithwaite; Mike Epstein; Akira Hirose and Fred’s Gang Tokyo; Maaria Wirkkala and Timo Torrika for the song title and the cover photograph; Lorraine and Deborah Gordon, Jed Eisenmann and the entire staff at the Village Vanguard; Dana, Diego and Paola and everybody at Civitella Raineri in Umbria for the priceless gift of a residency where this music was written; and to Scott Morgan for always being there.