Review: Pianist Fred Hersch makes exquisite music, within certain bounds – Chicago Tribune

Pianist Fred Hersch whispers where others shout and reaches for subtlety where others overplay.

The sense of balance and proportion in his work often suggests the musical values of a classical pianist, while his touch and tone evoke the French impressionists of the early 20th century. That Hersch leads one of the most sensitive and nimble trios in jazz only enhances the appeal of his art.

And yet an evening-length program of virtually nonstop understatement, reserve and delicacy can become repetitive, as it eventually did Friday night at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts. Amid all this hushed, hyper-controlled music-making, at least one listener wished to hear a fuller range of sound, color, texture and attack that a piano can produce.

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