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Fred Hersch

Silent, Listening (CD)

Silent, Listening is a major addition to ECM’s distinguished line of solo piano recordings, featuring one of the outstanding improvising pianists and jazz masters of our time: Fred Hersch.

Silent, Listening is both a highly individual musical offering and an important contribution to ECM’s line of innovative solo piano recordings. It finds US pianist Fred Hersch, one of jazz’s most outstanding soloists, putting a poetic emphasis on alert, open improvisation while also embracing original compositions and a scattering of standard tunes in his album’s graceful creative arc. Interspersing songs and spontaneously composed pieces, Hersch shapes and sustains a musical atmosphere that he describes as “nocturnal”, an atmosphere of heightened sensitivity to sound.

The album features seven original creations and a handful of well-chosen standards, including Billy Strayhorn’s “Star-Crossed Lovers”, Sigmund Romberg’s “Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise”, Alec Wilder’s “Winter Of My Discontent” and Russ Freeman’s “The Wind”, all played with the focus, sensitivity and gracefulness for which Hersch is renowned. Developed with producer Manfred Eicher in the responsive acoustics of the Lugano studio, the album was recorded in May 2023.

The in-the-moment spontaneity of Silent, Listening makes it, similarly, a self-contained one-off. Hersch enjoys the challenge of finding new musical solutions for new spaces and his upcoming touring activities include solo piano performances in both the US and Europe.

1. Star-Crossed Lovers
(Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington)
2. Night Tide Light
(Fred Hersc)
3. Akrasia
(Fred Hersch)
4. Silent, Listening
(Fred Hersch)
5. Starlight
(Fred Hersch)
6. Aeon
(Fred Hersch)
7. Little Song
(Fred Hersch)
8. The Wind
(Russ Freeman)
9. Volon
(Fred Hersch)
10. Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise
(Oscar Hammerstein II, Sigmund Romberg)
11. Winter Of My Discontent
(Ben Berenberg, Alec Wilder)