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Let Yourself Go (Live at Jordan Hall)

Let Yourself Go (Live at Jordan Hall) cover art

Track Listing

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1Black Is the Color / Love Theme from "Spartacus" (Trad. / Alex North)8:15
2Speak Low (Kurt Weill / Ogden Nash)7:45
3My Old Man (Joni Mitchell)6:30
4I Loves You, Porgy (George Gershwin / Ira Gershin & DuBose Heyward)6:58
5Moon & Sand (Alec Wilder & Morty Palitz / William Engvick)7:35
6…departed (Fred Hersch)6:39
7Let Yourself Go (Irving Berlin)4:41
8Blue Monk (Thelonious Monk)6:57
9The Nearness of You (Hoagy Carmichael / Ned Washington)4:54

News & Reviews

  • SF Chronicle: Fred Hersch, Performer of "Uncommon Fluency, Feeling, Invention," Returns to Stage

    Fred Hersch will perform two shows in San Francisco this weekend: a free solo concert and conversation at the Community Music Center on Friday and a concert at Herbst Theatre with his new Pocket Orchestra Saturday night. He spoke with the San Francisco Chronicle about his recent triumph over a number of life-threatening illnesses and his return to the stage. "Hersch, who plays jazz with uncommon fluency, feeling and invention," says the Chronicle, "has recovered, regaining his strength through intense physical therapy and getting back to the affirming business of making music."

About this Album

Fred Hersch, called by Downbeat "one of the small handful of brilliant musicians of his generation," delivers a performance of great feeling, lively wit and infectious good humor on this live recording from Boston's Jordan Hall, captured on October 13, 1998. In the process, Hersch takes Irving Berlin's advice, as urged by the album title, in what he acknowledges to be one of the best concerts of his career.

Two-time Grammy nominee Hersch's most recent Nonesuch solo recordings have centered on "songbook" CDs of compositions by Billy Strayhorn, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and Thelonious Monk. Let Yourself Go forms an eclectic extension of the genre with a program of traditional folk song and film music, art song, classic popular song from the likes of Weill, Berlin, and Carmichael and original work, along with treatments of Joni Mitchell and Thelonious Monk. In a review of the recorded concert, the Boston Globe described Hersch as "a pristine technician with a poet's soul—a pair of qualities that combine to especially dazzling effect in a jazz pianist. He investigates the shape of rhythm and the mathematics of motion as graciously as he coaxes the layers of feeling from a bittersweet melody … His approach to balladry evokes complex emotional landscapes with a minimum of sentimentality."

An honors graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, Fred Hersch underpins his sure feeling for jazz with a thoroughgoing command of classical music. Since relocating from his native Cincinnati, he has spent the last two decades on the East Coast. In that time he has taught at the New England Conservatory of Music, formed his own trio, released over 15 albums and been in consistent demand from numerous jazz masters, including saxophonists Joe Henderson, Stan Getz, and Jane Ira Bloom; bassist Charlie Haden and clarinetist Eddie Daniels. An active and prominent advocate in the fight against AIDS, he has also produced and performed on two benefit recording projects for Classical Action.


Fred Hersch, piano

Produced by Fred Hersch
Recorded live at Jordan Hall, The New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, MA, on October 13, 1998
Recorded by Kyle Walsh
Mastered by Robert Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland, ME

Design by John Costa, New Orleans
Photographs by Hollister Dru Breslin

Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

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