Fred Hersch Plays Jobim

Fred Hersch does so many things well (he’s a master pianist, accompanist, bandleader, composer, and educator), that you sometimes forget what a gifted interpreter he is of other people’s work. On his latest release, Hersch meets and exceeds the challenge of injecting new life into the venerable songbook of Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim. Playing almost entirely solo, save for percussionist Jamey Haddad’s spirited accompaniment on “Brigas Nunca Mais,” Hersch tackles well- and lesser-known Jobim tunes with fastidious flair, swinging hard and articulating in a pitch-perfect, almost classical way; listen to his fugue-like solo reading of “O Grande Amor,” the album’s second track. Time and time again, Hersch pushes himself and the piano to the edge and beyond. On Fred Hersch Plays Jobim, he continues to prove he is a fervent force to be reckoned with. Recommended. (Sunnyside, fredhersch.com )
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Fred Hersch does so many things well (he’s a master pianist, accompanist, bandleader, composer, and educator), that you sometimes forget what a gifted interpreter he is of other people’s work. On his latest release, Hersch meets and exceeds the challenge of injecting new life into the venerable songbook of Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim. Playing almost entirely solo, save for percussionist Jamey Haddad’s spirited accompaniment on “Brigas Nunca Mais,” Hersch tackles well- and lesser-known Jobim tunes with fastidious flair, swinging hard and articulating in a pitch-perfect, almost classical way; listen to his fugue-like solo reading of “O Grande Amor,” the album’s second track. Time and time again, Hersch pushes himself and the piano to the edge and beyond. On Fred Hersch Plays Jobim, he continues to prove he is a fervent force to be reckoned with. Recommended. (Sunnyside, fredhersch.com )

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