Chicago Reader

Mainstream jazz is very often an art of refinement: it’s a well-defined tradition with set parameters within which the most skilled players balance chops, improvisational elegance, and subtle boundary pushing. Those qualities can make it feel insular, but pianist Fred Hersch has developed such brilliant chemistry with bassist John Hébert and drummer Eric McPherson that the simpatico trio’s music feels writ large even as the outfit cleaves to an introverted attack—the group transcends jazz tradition while nestling snugly within it.

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