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Passion Flower: Fred Hersch Plays Billy Strayhorn

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

Passion Flower, a tribute album to composer Billy Strayhorn which Hersch produced, arranged, and orchestrated, received universal critical praise upon its release. “Elegantly arranged for jazz trio and strings," said the New York Times, the album "exudes an exotic hothouse aroma.” Jazziz called Hersch's renditions of Strayhorn's songs "stunning in their understated wealth and wry, bittersweet wit, as were the originals.” The Cincinnati Inquirer added: “Like Mr. Strayhorn’s compositions, Mr. Hersch’s execution transcends jazz. This is simply beautiful music.”


Fred Hersch, piano
Drew Gress, bass
Tom Rainey, drums

String Orchestra:
Eric Stern, conductor
Laura Seaton, concertmaster
Joyce Hamman, Sandra Park, Gene Orloff, Paul Peabody, Eriko Sato, Belinda Barrett-Whitney, Mark Feldman, Hanne-Berit Hahnemann, Yury Vodovoz, Paul Woodiel, Marti Sweet, violin
Lois Martin, Ruth Siegler, Alejandra Mohave, Juliet Haffner, viola
Erik Friedlander, Richard Locker, Jesse Levy, cello
John Beal, Jacqui Danilow, bass

Produced by Fred Hersch
Co-produced by Karen Chester (2, 7, 10, 12)
Recorded, mixed, edited, and mastered by A.T. Michael MacDonald
Recorded June and August 1995 at The Hit Factory, New York City
Assistant Engineers: Andy Grassi, Greg Thompson, Carl Glanville, Glen Marchese, and Drake Ayen
Mixed at Ambient Recording Company, Stamford, Connecticut
Edited and mastered at Foothill Digital, New York City

All compositions by Billy Strayhorn
All arrangements and orchestrations by Fred Hersch except track 10, arranged by Jed Distler

Design by John Tadao
Cover photograph by Kenro Izo

Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

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