Premiere of Fred Hersch’s New Album

April 10, 2024

Pianist Fred Hersch will premiere his new solo piano album, Silent, Listening, on Friday, April 26, at Kaufman Music Center’s Merkin Hall in New York. The ECM album is a follow-up to Hersch’s 2022 album with Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava, produced by ECM Records founder Manfred Eicher. Reviewing that recording for AllAboutJazz, Chris May wrote: “Engrossing though the entire album is, the best moments are saved until last. Thelonious Monk’s ‘Misterioso’ and ‘Round Midnight’, the latter for piano only, are exquisite. Every jazz fan probably knows each of these tunes as well as anything else one could name in the jazz standards canon, but Rava and Hersch’s versions are as fresh and full of new promise as a spring morning.”

According to Hersch, “In that recording with Enrico, I recognized that something special was going on. I sadi afterwards that I’d really like to make a solo album with Manfred as producer, in the same hall — where the acoustics, to my ear, are pretty-near perfect — and the same piano.” The hall was Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI in Lugano, Switzerland.

The title tune, “Silent Listening”, has written material at the beginning and end with Hersch improvising “on its motives and feel.” Other selections include “Little Song”, a Hersch composition; Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington’s “Star-Crossed Lovers”; and Alec Wilder’s “The Winter of my Discontent”. Hersch said Jimmy Rowles and Tommy Flanagan used to play “Star-Crossed Lovers” at the legendary jazz bar, Bradley’s, and he learned it from Rowles. Hersch recorded “The Winter of my Discontent” on his first album in 1985, As One, recorded with saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom on the JMT label.

For more information on the Merkin Hall concert or to order tickets, log onto or call (212) 501-3330.

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