i never read a line on him on ljp. i had the chance to see him live in nyc 2 months ago and re-listening to his cd's i love his playing. what pleased me on his live performance with singer jo lawry is he seemed to "put himself in danger" and he is not a stereotyped player for me. one jazz harmony teacher i know says from him he'll be much more famous maybe in 30 years. has he got the notoriety he deserves in the us ? what's your view ?
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my view is that i do not ever think about or worry about if someone has enought notoriety.  the best musician i have ever heard in my life bar none is a bass player i played with in west virinia named kevin frieson.  no one has ever heard of him outside of a few people in morgantown west virginia and in pittsburg and maybe a few former sun ra side men.  
   this is the nature of the music business and the arts in general many of the best people will never be heard or seen in their lifetimes or after.  this is also why i go out to local clubs with a passion and hunger.  you are just as likely to hear the best artist you will ever hear in your life in a local venue as you are going to hear someone famous in a big hall... but you do have to open your ears.  i really do believe any one deserves notoriety when there are countless many that die with out ever being noticed at all for total genius.   again it is just the nature of the beast ... acept it and move on.. flow with it... it is the nature of life as god has created it.. to try to buck that is a fools work.
well said dr. mike
sorry ... should read... i really do believe no one deserves notoriety.
you know coltrane did not deserve notoriety ... we are just lucky he got it so we got to hear him.  we are just so very lucky,  but his life could have easily passed in total obscurity and we might have missed all that music,  you can count on the fact that we have missed countless other geniuses that equaled him.
what i mean by notoriety is not in term of how many journalists are waiting for him at the end of a concert, i mean either most musicians seeing in him unanimously someone as very creative and talented player as well and someone who will leave something for the future players, that's my feeling about fred hersch
i believe there are many good musicians out there whom we will never hear in real life,but their music even if played in some bedroom enriches what some call common creative conciousness,so it is never wasted .the vibration of their music travels on and on for ever through cosmos and intelect of humanity gets refined by it ,even without knowing it.
to hear the best artist you will ever hear in your life in a local venue as you are going to hear someone famous in a big hall..' a slight exaggeration mike!
yea, i know who he is but i thought that he had died from aids..

he is openly gay, one of the few in jazz, because i read somewhere that there is an 85 percent heterosexuality rate in jazz..

wonderful link doug thank you, and also at the end he explains he hasn't a frenesy to be just a jazz star but like to teach, compose as well ... i wonder if beeing openly gay has closed some doors for him .. anyway i listen to some of his cd's and especially his last "fred hersch plays jobim" a pure merveille
i would have never figured out that his sexuality was any kind of issue nor that the rate of homosexuality in jazz is 15 percent. i guess if that is true and you are talking to six other jazz pianists and they are all straight then you must be gay. beyond that, doug, you may not realize that mike is the master of hyperbole. i cannot think of any time at which he understated anything. such are the intricacies of each of us.
lol...  yeh to say it is a "slight" exageration is the the understatement.   yet there is certainly truth to my statement.  dave mckenna who lived on cape cod where i live played in local lounges right up til his death for no cover charge.. the same type of restaurants i play in here.  he was the living definition of an "underground pianist"  he never made it to the national stage yet it is not only i that often put forward the case that he was the best pianist that ever lived bar none.
you can find great music out there if you look for it that never had a minute of airtime.

if there are a lots of notorious crap musicians playing in big halls and making big bucks ,it could be very well that the opposite holds truth also.
good points made by all.  i once saw the great freddie hubbard sound like a beginner who could not even get a sound out of his horn...we all have our moments - good & bad
i have to wonder though...why did sexuality become an issue in this discussion?  i read somewhere that historically approximately 20% of the human race has always been homosexual.  it stands to reason that statistic would be true amongst any sub-group, including jazz musicians...and really....who cares?
i agree.  i do not think sexuality has a been a huge issue in the music business so i do not really see the need to bring it up.  honestly please do correct me if i am wrong.  race has always been an issue in the music business and does have a place in conversaitions about jazz.  to not discuss race when discussing the history of jazz would be to miss a huge part of what was going on all around it.  all of my heroes that i have studied... bud powell, thelonius monk... etc etc were victims of extreme cases of racism and to ignore this would be like ignoring that they were from the planet earth.  but  sexuality, again correct me if i am wrong,  in my studiies i have never read that any of the great pianists i have read about were discriminated against on the basis of sexuality nor read that their sexuality had any great influence on their music.  i have read that miles davis was a bit radical for hiring a white piano player in his group but i never heard for example that miles turned some heads because he hired a gay man or a lesbian for example...  it has just been a non issue to date as far as i know.  let me know if i am wrong.
maybe i need to be enlightened ... it would not be the first time.
i just like fred's music.  i have more of his cds than any other piano player except bill evans.  i saw him about 6 months ago at yoshi's - he was brilliant. and he has a fresh, original sound (to my ears at least) - not easy to do these days.
mike, i think just about anything is up for discussion as long as it is presented for positive purposes. to state in a matter of fact way any comment about someone's personal situation (sexuality, religiosity, political beliefs, etc.) that has no bearing on the discussion at hand, is not productive nor is it helpful in any way. i do not mean that all discussions should be "politically correct" or that humor has no place, hell i live to hammer you and i hope you understand that i do it in jest, if i ever thought that i caused you hurt i would stop, no probably not. i know that i love music and i don't give a damn about the specifics of the person playing it except that i enjoy their playing.
wden i think you are gay.   :)   you are not my type.   :)
??? wha ???
who cares if he's gay? i can't hear gayness in his playing. only inventive concepts. art is art.
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