Thursday, November 30, 2017

Hélène Breschand & Elliott Sharp - Chansons du Crépuscule (2017)

Chansons du Crépuscule -“songs of dusk”- is a collection of original songs and interpretations recorded in Paris by New York guitarist/composer Elliott Sharp and French harpist and vocalist Hélène Breschand. The music on the disc was inspired by the music of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg presumably including their classic 1969 recording Je t’aime…moi non plus, whose title, if not its period pop sound, finds an oblique echo in Sharp and Breschand’s “Je t’aime Tant”. Chansons du Crépuscule tends more toward an angular, hard-edged expressionism carrying the strong imprint of Sharp’s sonic alchemy and Breschand’s Dadaesque vocals. But they can switch registers at will, as the softly melancholy “Le Dernier Mot” shows; diverseness is the other side of their virtuosity.

1. Extase (04:58)
2. La langue dans ma bouche (03:36)
3. Je t’aime tant (05:05)
4. Ne lui dis rien (04:36)
5. Goutte A goutte (06:03)
6. The Cuckoo (06:49)
7. Amor (05:02)
8. Le bloque cri (05:56)
9. Nouveau monde (05:27)
10. Le dernier mot (03:28)
11. Chose Rose (01:10)

Recorded by Jean-Charles Versari @ Studio Poptones - May 12, 2014
Mixed and mastered by E# @ Studio zOaR - NYC - July 2014
All French lyrics by Hélène Breschand except La Langue Dans Ma Bouche with lyrics by Elliott Sharp, The Cuckoo which is traditional, and Chose Rose which is an African-American spiritual translated by Marguerite Yourcenar.
Additional text in Le Bloque Cri by Rabindranath Tagore
All songs published by zOaR Music-BMI and Hélène Breschand-SACEM
Photographs by Cy Fore

Paul Jones with Leon Boykins and Rajiv Jayaweera (2017)

Hailed as a “force to be reckoned with” (StepTempest), saxophonist and composer Paul Jones is creating his own brand of unique and stylized jazz and is an in demand sideman in the US and abroad. With a singing yet dark toned saxophone coloring Paul creates music that is based in the history of jazz and classical music while infusing elements from the modern pop aesthetic. Making music that is challenging and complex while remaining attainable as a simple song is the crux behind Paul’s musical world. “Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple” (Charles Mingus).

Short History, his recent debut album as a leader, received a four star rating from Downbeat Magazine; the recording was noted for showcasing his melodic yet gutsy playing while highlighting his individual harmonic stylings and varied literary and musical influences. “Jones and his ensemble shift moods with throttle-forward speed, revealing so many musical possibilities right off the bat that the listener gets the impression that anything can happen” (Downbeat).

Short History opens sparsely with tenor saxophone and piano improvising over the original ballad Women, inspired by the Charles Bukowski novel. As the band begins to fill in the space around the tonal theme this playing continues and does so in both covers (I Could Write a Book and Hey, It’s Me You’re Talking To) plus original tunes. They display why Mr. Jones is noted as having “creativity up to his eyeballs” (Midwest Review). Released through Blujazz Publications, Short History features the front line of Alex LoRe on alto saxophone, Matt Davis on guitar, Sullivan Fortner on piano, Johannes Felscher on bass, and Jimmy Macbride on drums.

In NYC, Paul has performed at the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center, St. Peter’s Church, The Kitano, Tea Lounge, Shapeshifter Lab, Café Vivaldi, Highline Ballroom, and Rockwood Music Hall. In the fall of 2014 he was a finalist in the Julius Keilwerth Saxophone Idol Competition where he performed alongside Ernie Watts at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago. Paul regularly collaborates and has recorded with Matt Davis’ band Aerial Photograph, Nicky Schrire Plus 4, Leon Boykins’ Interval Songs, Jonathan Parker’s The Interloper, Ryan Khun’s Circle, and Yuki Shibata’s Come and Go.

Internationally Paul has been featured at Ronnie Scott’s and the Library Club in London. With Aerial Photograph Paul performed at the Contemporary Music Institute in Zhuhai, China, at many of the prominent jazz venues in Seoul, South Korea such as Club Evans, and at the Jarasum Jazz Festival, the largest jazz festival in Asia. Through Amsterdam Conservatory’s Keep an Eye on Jazz program Paul was a featured performer at the famed Bimhuis.

Interested in many styles of music, Mr. Jones’ pop career has also been quite active. He recently recorded with Sebastian Kole for Motown Records, Ryan Leslie of Universal Records, and Eli “Paperboy” Reed for Capitol Records. As a member of Eli “Paperboy” Reed’s Trueloves, Paul performed at festivals and clubs across 35 states, Canada, and Europe, including Lollapalooza, South by South West, and the Beale Street Music Festival. Paul regularly collaborates and has recorded with the Uptown Partydown, Brett Ferguson, Tory Hanna, The Jack Moves, Adam Lasher, and St. Lucia.

As a teacher Paul imparts his passion for learning to his students by using music as a tool to help them grow as individuals and achieve in whatever field they choose. Paul has taught privately at CenterStage, Harrison School of Music, Needham Music, PS-290, and the Rye Arts Center. During the summer he has taught courses in music theory, improvisation, music history, and lead ensembles at camp Encore Coda in Sweden, Maine.

Internationally, Paul has given masterclasses at the Contemporary Music Institute in Zhuhai, China and the Gimcheon School of the Arts in Korea.

Today, Paul makes his home in New York City where he has reoccurring performances at the Bar Next Door and the Cornelia Street Café. Active members of Paul’s bands include Henry Cole, Phil Markowitz, Fransico Mela, Sam Miniae, Yasushi Nakamura, Clarence Penn, Marcelo Pellitieri, Peter Slavov, Colin Stranahan, and Glenn Zaleski. Paul holds degrees from Berklee College of Music and Manhattan School of Music (MSM). Some of Paul's teachers have included Charlie Banacos, Hal Crook, Gary Dial, George Garzone, Tony Malaby, Phil Markowitz, Donny McCaslin, and Steve Wilson. While at MSM Paul had the opportunity to perform alongside Randy Brecker, Dave Liebman, and Joe Lovano.

Upcoming plans include releasing a suite for jazz quartet based on Ravel’s String Quartet in F Major and Gaspard de la nuit, plus a studio album of original songs based on continuing Paul’s process of turning words into melodies, and a live album recorded at the Bar Next Door. 

1. You're My Everything 06:28
2. Simone 07:37
3. Central Park West 05:01
4. E.S.P. 06:38
5. The Process 05:25
6. Serenity 04:56
7. Winter's Song 07:03

Paul Jones - tenor sax and compositions
Leon Boykins - bass
Rajiv Jayaweera - drums

All audio and artwork by Paul Jones

Vincent Courtois / Daniel Erdmann / Robin Fincker - Bandes Originales (LA BUISSONNE 2017)

This is not a film score album. Not even an album with cover versions. Not at all. On the contrary, it is a journey, a sort of free and rigorous wandering in a world which is both alien and familiar to us. So, could it be Cinema? Yes, no doubt about it... But Cinema which has been remembered, revisited, rephrased.

With recurring themes, bringing forth secret sensations coming from a distant inside. Hiroshima my Love, Bright Sun , E .T., The Thomas Crown Affair, All the Mornings of the World, The Red Ball, The Green Ray, Take The Money and Run, Sleeping Paris, films from everywhere and elsewhere...Anything but a Pantheon, but rather the result of a swaying dreamy meditation. So films, revisited and corrected by a trio with unique sounds. A cello (Vincent Courtois), two saxophones (Daniel Erdmann, Robin Finckler), three reasons to be seeped in this intimate round dance, apparently austere but, in reality, shimmering and glimmering. No fad. No dramatic flourishes.

No opportunism. Just unreleased sounds. A music that recreates itself in our ears and recalls memories, in the present time, without nostalgia. So listen to Giovanni Fusco, Nino Rota, Michel Legrand, John Williams, Marin Marais, Marvin Hamlisch in their new attire. Get on board with the Courtois / Erdmann / Fincker trio . They love cinema, music, history, geography, adventure ... You are bound to love them !

Eric Le Lann - Mossy Ways (MUSIQUE À BORD 2017)

Le trompettiste breton Eric Le Lann accompagné de Patrick Manouguian (guitare), Philippe Bussonnet ( basse), Raphael Chassin ( batterie), et de Laurent Jouin (chant) nous délivre un album atmosphérique et féerique entre jazz / pop et rock .

La perspective est assez libre et nous permet de nous étendre dans des contrées imaginaires aux voyages et visions solaires, un parcours de mélodies et d'émotions.

L'envoûtement est directe, on se laisse bercer et réentraîner par une trompette lumineuse et le chant nous procure(sauf si vous connaissez le breton) un dépaysement totale.

On adore les titres 'Rêvent', 'An Diaoul Hag An Aour' avec ses chants bretons mystérieux, 'Del' pour son rythme ou 'Sierra Volare' pour son mystère.

L'album repousse les frontières de la musique et du jazz en nous faisant découvrir les facettes possible du genre, entre frontières et passages, des alternances sympathiques et mélodiques.

1 Rêvent 5:49
2 Mossy Ways 5:09
3 An diaoul hag an aour 6:12
4 Balladisa 5:04
5 DEL 5:27
6 Son mari vras 6:00
7 Sierra volare 4:42
8 See You Soon 3:40
9 Komedianez ar blijadur 3:23

Joost Lijbaart - Under The Surface (CHALLENGE RECORDS 2017)

'What would happen to our mind if we create something out of thin air?'' That question popped up more and more frequently in the mind of drummer Joost Lijbaart. Being a jazz musician he is used to improvisation within the structure of tune and melody, but he watned to let go of those boundaries and improvise spontaneously. Lijbaart: ''I performed with Bram and Sanne before on some occasions. After a couple of sessions and concerts together the idea of a fully improvised album became a logical next step because we had so much in common. The blend of Sanne's voice in combination with guitar and drums feels very natural. The lyrics, her whispering, talking and singing are so nigh the human body that it creates a prime vulnerability which makes the music open and accessible. Bram Stadhouders is one of the most creative musicians I know. His presence, both as a soloist or an accompanist plus his profusion of sounds renders all three of us the sensation that we are able to fly.

1 Silent Conversation  04:22
2 Above  05:33
3 Dream Cave  04:43
4 Adem  03:52
5 Together  02:22
6 Kyrie  01:15
7 After Silence  02:12
8 Under the Surface  06:34
9 Sibylla  05:35
10 Going Native  05:11
11 Before  04:41


Sanne Rambags: vocals
Bram Stadhouders: acoustic guitars, lyre, synthesizers, additional percussion (1)

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal: Jazz under the Christmas tree!

Miguel Zenón Earns Grammy Nomination for "Best Latin Jazz Album"

Internationally Renowned Saxophonist/Composer Miguel Zenón
Earns 2018 Grammy Nomination for “Best Latin Jazz Album” 
Zenón’s album Típico celebrates his longstanding quartet

"One of the great jazz discs of the year…."  – Jeff Simon, Buffalo News

4-stars. "Zenón's appreciation for intricacy always creates sparks, but it's his buoyancy that keeps things intriguing. That balance is everywhere on one of his most engaging adventures... insightful, passionate, and don't sound quite like anyone else in Latin, jazz, or their hyphenate." 
— Jim Macnie, DownBeat

4-stars. “Zenón himself has one of the most instantly distinctive sounds in jazz today, as has his band...An enthralling recording by a great group." — Tony Hall, Jazzwise Magazine

"Típico is a portrait of a band lost in thought with smiles on their faces as they reach that elusive moment when it all comes together and they are thinking, and playing, as one." – Felix Contreras, NPR

Internationally acclaimed saxophonist/composer Miguel Zenón has earned a Grammy nomination in the category of “Best Latin Jazz Album” for his recording Típico (Miel Music).  The album is a celebration of his longstanding quartet featuring pianist Luis Perdomo and bassist Hans Glawischnig who have been with Zenón since the turn of the millennium, and drummer Henry Cole who joined the band in 2005. This is Zenón’s fifth Grammy nomination.

"I am extremely excited and honored to receive this nomination along with such a distinguished group of musicians,” says Zenón. “I look forward to attending the ceremony in January.”

A multiple Grammy nominee and Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow, Zenón is one of a select group of musicians who have masterfully balanced and blended the often-contradictory poles of innovation and tradition. Widely considered one of the most groundbreaking and influential saxophonists of his generation, Zenón has also developed a unique voice as a composer and as a conceptualist, concentrating his efforts on perfecting a fine mix between Latin American folkloric music and jazz. Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Zenón has recorded and toured with a wide variety of musicians including Charlie Haden, Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner, Bobby Hutcherson and Steve Coleman and is a founding member of the SFJAZZ Collective. 

Zenón’s past several releases have generally fleshed out his quartet with additional instrumentalists as Zenón has looked outward to explore various aspects of his Puerto Rican heritage. Típico is more intimate. Its focus stays closer to home, with nods to Zenón’s own personal and professional life as it zeroes in on what makes his band unique.

“I was thinking about what this band and the guys in the band mean to me as I was writing the music,” he explains. “I kept going back to this idea of us developing this common language that identifies us as a band.”

Their language is thoroughly fluent modern jazz, with all the instrumental prowess and rhythmic and harmonic complexity that that implies. But the dialect they’ve created together through the years is distinctive.

“‘Típico’ refers to something that’s customary to a region or a group of people,” Zenón says. “Or something that can be related to a specific group of people. And when I was writing the music, I was thinking about music that identified us and this band.”

Each of the album’s final three tracks, Zenón notes, was composed around a solo or signature rhythmic line that one of the band members had played before. “My approach was more systematic on those three compositions specifically. But the whole record essentially is about representing the sound of the band. The sound of our band.”

Típico has received extensive critical acclaim:

Editor’s Pick: “Típico is a welcome showcase for Miguel Zenón’s longstanding, yeoman quartet.... shorn of any sidemen or abiding thematic adornment, the distinctive character, energy and joy of their interaction—their sheer jazz—is spectacular.... Típico eschews grand themes for ensemble intimacy, but Zenón’s latest triumph is no less resonant.” – Britt Robson, JazzTimes

“Típico, Zenón’s new album, is a dedicatory project that celebrates the unity and invention of the alto saxophonist’s longtime quartet, now approaching its second decade as a fierce modernist ensemble. The leader’s lapel-grabbing playing may remain the focus, but his bandmates the pianist Luis Perdomo, the bassist Hans Glawischnig, and the drummer Henry Cole having thoroughly absorbed Zenón’s integration of Latin musical sources and jazz, are invaluable contributors, each worthy of his obvious pride. – Steve Futterman, The New Yorker

“ of the standout jazz albums of 2017.... Their decade together has given them a rare degree of sensitivity and understanding that greatly enhances their work. And their shared sense of purpose results in a keen musical focus that illuminates their aural excursions.” – George Varga, San Diego Tribune

Editor’s Pick: “On Típico high points arrive as sure as the sun on each of the eight tracks on the album.... [Zenón’s] melodic and extended improvisational lines contain qualities allied to a personality of exceptional purity, muscularity and creative intelligence.” – Raul da Gama, Jazz Global Media

“After using his last few albums to elaborate on the musical folklore of his native Puerto Rico, Zenon designed Típico without a conceptual framework, instead opting to simply show off what it means when a band locks in and fires on all cylinders.... All eight pieces are tricky in their own way, but in the end Zenon proves his point: his technical dexterity and virtuosic flash never undermine the fiery group interplay.” – Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

“ the core Zenon's ensemble is defined by the translucency of its tone, the alacrity of its approach to rhythm and the intimacy of Zenon's solos on alto saxophone.” – Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

 “…this is exactly how a quartet should sound. It’s inventive, exciting, powerful, intriguing and thoughtful in turns. The band seem to employ their own unique musical language, creating a distinctive feel and sound through the obvious kinship and music they are performing...this recording can be easily summed as this; thoroughly fluent, mouth-watering modern jazz.”  Mike Gates, UK Vibe

"Alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón has maintained one of jazz' steadiest working units for well over a decade...While the quartet is back down to its core, it has never sounded so huge. The music rushes forth in a near-blizzard of rhythmic detail and yet conveys looseness and breath-in a word, alma (soul)...galloping rhythmic twists; gorgeous modern harmony; and relentlessly difficult ensemble writing that somehow always sounds unruffled." - David Adler, NYC Jazz Record

4 stars: “The pure-toned alto saxophonist continues to explore his Puerto Rican heritage through the prism of jazz with this beautifully crafted set of originals.... Each track bursts to the seams with intimate dialogue and finessed technique, and with Zenon in peak form and pianist Luis Perdomo a match, the blend of Latin music and jazz is unusually complete.” – Mike Hobart, Financial Times

“ of [Zenón’s] most sophisticated collections yet of kinetic, genre-bending post-bop.” – Matt Collar,

Winners will be announced at the Grammy Awards ceremony on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Fred Hersch earns 2 Grammy Nominations for Open Book



“Best Jazz Instrumental Album” and “Best Improvised Jazz Solo”

Internationally acclaimed jazz pianist and composer Fred Hersch has received two 2018 Grammy nominations for his recent solo recording Open Book on Palmetto Records. Hersch has been nominated in the categories of Best Jazz Instrumental Album and Best Improvised Jazz Solo (Benny Golson’s “Whisper Not”). The Grammy Awards ceremony will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Sunday, January 28, 2018.

Hersch has earned a total of twelve Grammy nominations since 1993 in the categories of Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Best Instrumental Composition and Best Improvised Jazz Solo. Nine of his nominations have come since his recovery from a 2-month coma in 2008.

A select member of jazz’s piano pantheon, Fred Hersch is a pervasively influential creative force who has shaped the music’s course over more than three decades as an improviser, composer, educator, bandleader, collaborator and recording artist. A twelve-time Grammy Award nominee, he continues to earn jazz’s most prestigious awards, including recent distinctions as a 2016 Doris Duke Artist, 2016 Jazz Pianist of the Year from the Jazz Journalists Association and the 2017 Prix in Honorem Jazz for the entirety of his career from l'Académie Charles Cros in France.

Hersch has long defined jazz’s creative edge in a wide variety of settings, from his breathtaking solo recitals and exploratory duos to his extraordinary trios and innovative chamber settings. With some three dozen albums to his credit as a leader or co-leader, he consistently wins an international array of awards and lavish critical praise for his albums. The 2015 Palmetto album Fred Hersch SOLO , his tenth solo disc won the French Grand Prix de Disque de L’Académie de Jazz. His 2016 release, Sunday Night at the Vanguard (Palmetto), is a definitive statement by his long-running trio with bassist John Hébert and drummer Eric McPherson; it earned Hersch two Grammy nominations. His eleventh solo CD Open Book also earned two Grammy nominations as well as the 2017 Coup de cœur jazz from l'Académie Charles Cros.

Hersch has earned similar distinction with his writing, garnering a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship in Composition. He’s collaborated with an astonishing range of artists throughout the worlds of jazz (Joe Henderson, Charlie Haden, Art Farmer, Stan Getz, Bill Frisell); classical (Renée Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Christopher O'Riley); and Broadway (Audra McDonald). Long admired for his sympathetic work with singers, Hersch has joined with such notable jazz vocalists as Nancy King, Janis Siegel, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Norma Winstone and Kurt Elling.

The feature documentary The Ballad of Fred Hersch premiered at the prestigious Full Frame Film Festival in March 2016 to a sold-out house and rave reviews and is now streaming on Vimeo. His autobiography Good Things Happen Slowly (Crown Books/Random House), was named one of the Five Best Memoirs of 2017 by The Washington Post.

Open Book has earned wide critical acclaim

“But Mr. Hersch’s music of the last half-dozen years is at the pinnacle of the jazz idiom. In my opinion, jazz piano doesn’t get any better than this.” – Ted Gioia, The Wall Street Journal

“After Keith Jarrett, Fred Hersch is our leading exponent of solo jazz piano. The secret to Hersch’s work is that he does not fundamentally alter his engagement with the instrument. Understanding that the piano’s essence is to sing, he remains quintessentially, lyrically pianistic. Hersch’s touch with melody is extraordinary.” – Thomas Conrad, Stereophile

★★★★★ “This is a recording that makes it seem as though Fred Hersch is the finest jazz pianist in the world. That’s an impossible assertion, of course. There are a dozen, maybe more pianists who have achieved this level of artistry. But for now, with ‘Open Book’, he can wear that title.” – Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

"At 61, he stands among jazz's first rank of pianists and composers, possessing rare and wide-ranging gifts yet promoting no particular style.  He plays it his way, always shaping a personal sound.” – Larry Blumenfeld, Village Voice

“Pianist Fred Hersch personalizes everything he plays, investing deep emotion into his inventive interpretations of standards, pop tunes or whatever he turns his hand to, displaying a jaunty virtuosity that simultaneously delights and inspires awe.” – Bob Weinberg, Jazziz

"...a tour de force of solo piano playing." – Pierre Giroux, Audiophile Audition 

“Seemingly contrapuntal and contrary exchanges of left and right hand, tenderly emerging climaxes and the feeling that he is always whispering in your ear are a few of the major attractions of this captivating set…a pianist at the height of his powers.” – Selwyn Harris, Jazzwise (UK)

“’Open Book’ shows an artist at the height of his creative power without a sign of slacking off.  It’s one of those albums that sounds good any time of day, early in the morning with the birds singing outside your window or late at night as you relax after a long day. No matter when you listen, this is quite a good ‘book.’” – Richard Kamins, Steptempest

“Most everything in Fred Hersch’s oeuvre has always miraculously existed as slow read and page-turner all at once.  The many phrases, songs and albums from the mind of this highly expressive pianist-composer have been something to really take time with, to be savored and appreciated for their beauty and depth of creative thought.  “Open Book’ serves as a fine companion piece to go with Hersch’s memoir, but it’s a work that also stands alone, apart and aloft without issue. This is another five-star find from one of jazz’s greatest treasures.” – Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz

“The centerpiece of the album is an almost 20-minute stream-of-consciousness improvisation, ‘Through The Forest,’ made completely compelling by Fred’s intelligent weaving of multiple musical strands and techniques into a narrative that holds the piece together into a cohesive whole.  It is comparable to Keith Jarrett’s famous solo piano concerts, but Fred seems more focused than even Keith was, as dramatic passages alternated with knuckled clusters in a constantly unfolding panorama.” – George Kanzler, Hot House

“It would be interesting to know how many truly great jazz pianists are alive at any given time. But I’ll say this: you could tighten the criteria until you have excluded all but ten, and Fred Hersch would still be among them. In fact, I’d suggest that he’s possibly one of the top five. His latest album is a solo excursion, perhaps the most deeply personal and introspective of any he has made yet. All of it is exquisite.” – Rick Anderson, CD Hotlist

"This is the work of a real artist examining his art and laying himself bare in the musical process. Solo piano music that forces you to lean in, put this up there with genre classics." – Chris Spector, Midwest Record 

“There’s no such thing as a casual listen to a Fred Hersch recording. Diving into the American pianist/composer’s work is no cold shower, though, but a trip into an enchanting world of teeming melodies, rich colours and criss-crossing stories. Like Keith Jarrett and Brad Mehldau, Hersch is a brilliant solo artist, and Open Book is a mix of originals and covers built around Through the Forest, a remarkable total-improv performance from a 2016 concert in Seoul. It is a typical Hersch set: understated, cliche-free, and sublime in its craft and musicality.” – John Fordham, The Guardian (UK)

"Profoundly expressive and technically astounding..." – Mel Minter, Musically Speaking 

★★★★★ “Hersch is the musician’s musician, a deep and thoughtful artist who strikes that elusive balance between soul and skill every time he touches the keyboard. This magnificent solo recording is aptly named, a revelatory experience, almost indecent in its emotional truth, and proof - if it were needed - that music, particularly in the hands of a poet like Hersch, can express what words cannot even approach.” – Cormac Larkin, The Irish Times 

★★★★★ “An album so free in emotions, from lyrical to strong and dissonant, that you as a listener are emotionally completely blown away. With his fabulous technique as a base, Hersch, on Open Book, knows how to create a musical world that's so intense and emotional that he'll let you forget the messy world outside.” – Dick Hovenga, Written In Music (Belgium)

"’Through the Forest’ is an almost 20 minute spontaneous improvisation, played at a point where he was unusually exhausted, and allowed himself to totally give in to the moment, and let the ideas flow as they came. It is the centerpiece of an exceptional album, one that definitively demonstrates the singular genius possessed by Fred Hersch.” – Joe Lang, Jersey Jazz

“Open Book gives Hersch fans both the familiar pleasures they’ve come to expect and a novel and daring performance that shows just how unbounded the great pianist’s talents can be.” Peter Hum, The Ottawa Citizen

“The closing track is Billy Joel’s tender ballad, ‘And So It Goes’, and while I’ve heard many renditions of this song, I don’t recall one that touched me as much as this one.  The passion Hersch injects into this powerful song shows why he is one of jazz’s most treasured performers.” – Thomas Cunniffe, Jazz History Online

“Fred Hersch is a modern piano master. The closer, a stately, hymnal take on Billy Joel’s And So It Goes that hews close to the theme, is one of the most gorgeous pieces of piano playing you’re ever likely to hear.”  – John Turney, London Jazz News

“In the sometimes seemingly overcrowded world of the contemporary jazz pianist, it must be difficult to make a lasting impression. I often think of Hersch as something of an unsung piano hero. If you are a fan of contemporary jazz piano of the highest order you will need this in your collection.” – Alan Musson, UK VIbe

“Built around a long, wholly-improvised concert perfromance, this solo piano recital from Fred Hersch is stunning evidence that he is one of the few great solo jazz pianists alive.” – Will Layman, Pop Matters