Rated One of the Best Jazz Albums of 2022 by The Absolute Sound!
TAS Rated 4.5/5 Music, 4/5 Sonics in the February 2023 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
The Song Is You documents the inspired meeting of two master improvisers. Italian trumpeter and flugelhornist Enrico Rava and US pianist Fred Hersch share a love of the music's history and together explore standards including Jerome Kern's "The Song Is You," Thelonious Monk's "Misterioso" and "'Round Midnight," Jobim's "Retrato em Branco e Preto," and George Bassman's "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You." They also play their own tunes, Fred's "Child's Song" and Enrico's "The Trial," and create music freely together. It's a subtle and far-reaching performance: when jazz reaches this level of understanding and interplay, a performance becomes less about the material - however distinguished it may be - than what the interpreter brings to it. Rava and Hersch bring vast experience and a finely honed sense of jazz improvisation as a storyteller's art.
Enrico Rava has recorded for ECM since the 1970s, beginning with The Pilgrim and the Stars, now regarded as a modern jazz classic. The Song Is You is Fred Hersch's first for the label, following albums as a leader with Nonesuch, Palmetto, Sunnyside and others. Throughout his long career as a player, Hersch has returned very often to duo instrumentation. In his memoir Good Things Happen Slowly, he reflects upon his preference for the format: "The duo suited my ability to use the entire keyboard to do multiple things at once. It also let me orchestrate the music instead of just playing block chords with the left hand.... I indulged my love of spontaneous counterpoint - two or more independent melodic lines going on simultaneously. I can go from roaring loud to pianissimo instantly. It's collaborative and also intimate. You have to be compatible but also different enough for each musician to offer something unique." (Enrico's discography also includes some notable duos, including The Third Man with Stefano Bollani).
The November 2021 recording of The Song Is You followed just a handful of Italian dates earlier that year. But from first of these it was evident that something special was happening. Fred Hersch: "One of the things that I really liked from the beginning was that Enrico doesn't feel like he has to be soloing. It's not as clearly defined. We make things together," Fred told interviewer Nicola Ferrauto. "He lets me get in there and push him a little bit. Other times I might give him a lot of space. The best duo partnerships are the ones where you don't have to talk about it too much. You just play. And I'm getting the feeling this is going to be a long partnership. It's really very simpatico, and Enrico's a great master."
The Song Is You was recorded at Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI in November 2021 and produced by Manfred Eicher.
With The Song Is You [Rava and Hersch] take a refreshingly uncomplicated approach, playing a mix of standards and originals in a laidback and off-the-cuff manner that still feels deeply thoughtful....Rava and Hersch delve deep inside their combined sound, playing off each other's lines with a playful inventiveness.
Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava has a way of casting a spell with his golden-toned, less-is-more approach to his instrument. Joining Rava in the studio with pianist Fred Hersch, another hopeless romantic with a lyrical bent and an adventurous sense of creating off the cuff, was an inspired notion. While Rava's luminous flugelhorn carries the lion's share of the melody work here, Hersch animates this duo session with inventive orchestration that is filled with humor, grace, and verve.
- 180g Vinyl
- Made in Germany
- Retrato em Branco e Preto
- I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
- The Song Is You
- Child's Song
- The Trial
- Round Midnight