Open Book

Open Book

Veteran pianist Fred Hersch casts a wide net on this engrossing solo album. He harks back to his roots in hard-swinging post-bop with Benny Golson’s classic “Whisper Not.” He pays homage to Thelonious Monk with “Eronel.” He picks a Jobim song, two originals, and the closing Billy Joel ode “And So It Goes.” But the centerpiece, a nearly 20-minute free improvisation titled “Through the Forest,” seems to yoke it all together: it’s Hersch at his most fearless and unfiltered, building dynamic arcs with dazzling technical control.

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