10 Songs, 58 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Pianist Fred Hersch’s last three albums have been live efforts, so he was overdue for a visit to the studio. He puts the headphones on for Floating, bringing his working trio of bassist John Hebert and drummer Eric McPherson with him to follow up their 2012 effort Alive at the Vanguard. Jazz is first and foremost a live music, but the subtle interaction between bass and drums can sometimes get lost due to the limitations of live recording. So in many ways, this is as much a showcase for them as it is for Hersch. The chattering stick work and swooping bassline of the jaunty opener, “You & the Night & the Music,” make this immediately apparent, while “Home Fries” bounces along with a conversational Crescent City groove. Taking the beat completely out of the equation, the aptly named title track and “Far Away” are all texture and feel, riding Hersch’s expressive, searching melodies. They close things out strong with the romantic “If Ever I Would Leave You” and a peppy version of Monk’s “Let’s Cool One,” which makes you want to start at the beginning again.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Pianist Fred Hersch’s last three albums have been live efforts, so he was overdue for a visit to the studio. He puts the headphones on for Floating, bringing his working trio of bassist John Hebert and drummer Eric McPherson with him to follow up their 2012 effort Alive at the Vanguard. Jazz is first and foremost a live music, but the subtle interaction between bass and drums can sometimes get lost due to the limitations of live recording. So in many ways, this is as much a showcase for them as it is for Hersch. The chattering stick work and swooping bassline of the jaunty opener, “You & the Night & the Music,” make this immediately apparent, while “Home Fries” bounces along with a conversational Crescent City groove. Taking the beat completely out of the equation, the aptly named title track and “Far Away” are all texture and feel, riding Hersch’s expressive, searching melodies. They close things out strong with the romantic “If Ever I Would Leave You” and a peppy version of Monk’s “Let’s Cool One,” which makes you want to start at the beginning again.

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