Good Things Happen Slowly: Fred Hersch with David Hajdu
Where: McNally Jackson
52 Prince St.
212-274-1160 Price: Free
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Jazz could not contain Fred Hersch. His prodigious talent as a sideman–a pianist who played with the giants of the twentieth century in the autumn of their careers, including Art Farmer and Joe Henderson–blossomed further in the eighties and beyond into a compositional genius that defied the boundaries of bop, sweeping in elements of pop, classical, and folk to create a wholly new music. Good Things Happen Slowly is his memoir. It’s the story of the first openly gay, HIV-positive jazz player, and a deep look into the cloistered jazz culture that made such a status both transgressive and groundbreaking. It is a remarkable, at times lyrical evocation of New York in the twilight days of post-Stonewall hedonism, and a powerfully brave narrative of the illness that led to Hersch’s two-month-long coma in 2007, from which he would emerge to create some of the finest, most direct and emotionally compelling music of his career.