Proclaimed by Vanity Fair magazine, “the most arrestingly innovative pianist in jazz over the last decade or so,” Fred Hersch balances his internationally recognized instrumental skills with significant achievements as a composer, bandleader, and theatrical conceptualist, as well as remaining an in-demand collaborator with other noted bandleaders and vocalists. As a solo pianist (he was the first artist in the 75-year history of New York's legendary Village Vanguard to play week-long engagements as a solo pianist - his second featured run is documented on the 2011 release, Alone at the Vanguard); as leader of a widely praised trio whose Whirl found its way onto numerous 2010 best-recordings-of-the-year lists; and as the impetus behind the ambitious 2011 production, “My Coma Dreams,” a full-evening work for 11 instruments, actor/singer and animation/multimedia - Hersch has fully lived up to the approbation of the New York Times who, in a featured Sunday Magazine article, praised him as “singular among the trailblazers of their art, a largely unsung innovator of this borderless, individualistic jazz – a jazz for the 21st century.” He was nominated for two 2011 Grammy Awards for Alone at the Vanguard - for Best Jazz Album and Best Improvised Jazz Solo; these are his fourth and fifth nominations. His newest trio album is a 2-CD set Alive at the Vanguard and it has been garnering wide critical acclaim as one of his best releases in his many-year recording career. It has been awarded the 2012 Grand Prix du Disque by l'Académie Charles Cros in France.
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