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Fred Hersch

A fine pianist whose work blends introspective and energetic elements and is strongly influenced by Bill Evans, Fred Hersch has gotten quite a bit of publicity over the last few years for being HIV-positive. He's done benefit concerts and several interviews on the subject, but Hersch's playing deserves just as much attention. He smartly mixes free, hard bop and contemporary classical voicings and elements, and his originals are probing and unpredictable. Hersch has played with Marc Johnson, Joey Baron, Charlie Haden, Mike Formanek, Steve Laspina and Jeff Hirshfield among others. He's recorded as a leader for Chesky, Sunnyside, Concord, Angel and Red. ~ Ron Wynn and Michael G. Nastos