Michael Moore & Fred Hersch: The Sad Bird


The Sad Bird


Michael Moore (clarinet) and Fred Hersch (piano)


This We Know (Palmetto 3900)

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Michael Moore (clarinet), Fred Hersch (piano).

Composed by Fred Hersch


Recorded: Haarlem, The Netherlands, October 2003 (CD released in 2008)


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Michael Moore and Fred Hersch began their musical partnership in the 1970s at the New England Conservatory of Music. But this practice-room acquaintance has blossomed into a rich musical dialogue, as demonstrated on their Palmetto CD This We Know. "The Sad Bird" is an exquisitely melancholy Hersch composition, and the two musicians plumb its emotional content to the depths on this track. I am reminded of another ornithological jazz composition, Jimmy Rowles's "The Peacocks," which also found its fullest realization in a memorable duet setting. Hersch's piano accompaniment is closer to classical music than to jazz here, and both pianist and horn player incorporate stylish bird calls into the proceedings that would make Messiaen proud. All in all, this is a very bittersweet performance.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia


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