Fred Hersch: Misterioso
Fred Hersch (piano)
Night & the Music (Palmetto PM 124)
Composed by Thelonious Monk.
Recorded: Maggies’s Farm, Bucks County, PA. December 4-5, 2006
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
The sophisticated stylizing of Fred Hersch is used to great effect on this rhythmically syncopated Monk tune, creating musical counterpoint that seems to reinvigorate this often-played composition. Hersch’s slow and deliberate start builds to a climactic tempest of sound, while Gress and Waits build tension in tandem with him as he accentuates the note-by-note progression that embodies the melody. After creating the buildup, Hersch manages to finish the piece in a characteristically understated single-note fashion that brings it all together in true Monk style. This is an underrated trio. While Hersch’s approach is more florid than Monk’s ever was, his flawless technique and mastery of the tune's essence makes this a worthy alternative reading of the venerable classic.
Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello