Pianist Fred Hersch, 59, is gearing up for what promises to be an amazing birthday for his big 6-0. First comes 'Solo' (Palmetto Records), a gorgeous piano recital recorded live in an old church high atop the Catskill Mountains of New York at last year's Windham Chamber Music Festival. It's his tenth solo CD.
Jazz at Lincoln Center's 2015-16 season has a different emphasis this time around. With the theme "Jazz and American Song," the season will feature a sustained emphasis on vocal music in the blues, jazz and pop traditions.
For renowned jazz pianist Fred Hersch, a medical ordeal has become the topic of his new DVD "My Coma Dreams," a single actor-driven theater piece accompanied in large part by instrumental music. The disc comes out Monday, Dec. 8, in recognition of World AIDS Day. A most unfortunate medical peril, the 90-minute narrative covers the eight dreams Hersch recalled after regaining consciousness from a coma in 2008. And after he was rehabilitated, he conveyed the surreal dreamscape to his friend, librettist and composer Herschel Garfein. If you were not aware, back in June 2008 Hersch fell ill and was confined to his bath tub, where he was rushed to the hospital immediately. Once he reached St. Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village, he was in septic shock. The doctors diagnosed him with pneumonia and organ failure, and he was induced into a coma for eight weeks. Nine months later he had made a full recovery, and by January was playing at the Village Vanguard — quite the resilient composer.