Your Sunday Morning Jazz Album: Fred Hersch Trio – “Floating”


Sunday mornings are when the serenity is supposed to come down.  Sunday morning is the cocoon from the heavy exhaustion of too much Saturday night fun.  Sunday morning is when the city agrees to use its inside voice.  Sunday morning is when a hush settles in over the land.  It is a time for sitting still and listening to quiet music and silently praying the aspirin and coffee do something to stop your head from exploding.  Drama and stress are strictly forbidden on Sunday morning.

Your Sunday Morning Jazz Album is just for you, for times just like these.  If you possess the freakish compulsion to get-up-and-go when the clock strikes Sunday morning, this music is not for you.  Go and listen to a Spotify EDM playlist or something.  But whatever you decide, just do it quietly and far away from those of us who appreciate the true solemn nature of a Sunday morning.

A show tune, a standard and something from Thelonious Monk are peppered throughout the recording, but it’s the originals that most hit the mark on this 2014 recording from the Fred Hersch Trio.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise.  For the span of three decades, Hersch has added his measured, thoughtful works to the jazz lexicon, so it’s always going to be a case where the original inspirations outshine the interpretations.

Floating is music meant for peaceful moments.  And even when the conversation between musicians gets a little chipper, like on “Arcata” or Monk’s “Let’s Cool One,” the effect is akin to the growing presence of sunlight upon a darkened room than an actual spike in temperature.  Much of this has to do with how the pianist sees a ballad at the heart of every song.  It’s why “Home Fries” and “Far Away,” though different in temperament, both swoon with the emotional weight of the love struck and the heartbroken.  The deliberative method in which the trio dishes out that particular mood just enhances its resonance that much more.

You need this album today, right now.

  • Artist-Title:  Fred Hersch Trio – Floating
  • Personnel:  Fred Hersch (piano), John Hébert (bass) and Eric McPherson (drums).
  • Proper Use:  1) Staring out the window and wondering whatever happened to your first true love, 2) Drowning yourself in the album cover’s serenity until you are perfectly centered.

Released in 2014 on Palmetto Records.

Listen to another album track on Soundcloud.

Music from NYC.

Available at:  Amazon | eMusic