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Leaves of Grass

Fred HerschAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Price: $15.36 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 20 Songs, 2005 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2005 $15.36  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. A Riddle Song (Overture) 3:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Song of the Universal 3:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Whoever You Are Holding Me Now in Hand0:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Song of Myself Part I: "I Celebrate Myself" 3:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Song of Myself Part Ii: "A Child Said, 'What Is the Grass'" 3:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Song of Myself Part Iii: "A Learner With the Simplest" 2:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Song of Myself Part Iv: "I Exist As I Am" 2:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Song of Myself Part V: "I AM He That Walks" 2:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Song of Myself Part Vi: "Through Me Forbidden Voices" 3:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Song of Myself Part Vii: "Now I Will Do Nothing But Listen" 3:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Song of Myself Part Viii: "I Believe in a Leaf of Grass" 2:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Song of Myself Part Ix: "I Fly Those Flights" 3:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Song of Myself Part X: "My Lovers Suffocate Me" 3:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Song of Myself Part Xi: "Why Should I Wish to See God" 3:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. The Mystic Trumpeter 5:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. At the Close of the Day 4:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. To You / Perfections0:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. The Sleepers 5:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Spirit That Form'd This Scene / On the Beach At Night Alone (Interlude) 5:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. After the Dazzle of Day 3:01$0.99  Buy MP3 


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Biography

Pianist and composer Fred Hersch has been called a "one of the small handful of brilliant musicians of his generation" by Downbeat and has earned a place among the foremost jazz artists in the world today. From the late 70's onward as a sideman to jazz legends including Joe Henderson, Art Farmer and Stan Getz, he has solidified a reputation as a versatile master of jazz piano, as ... Read more in Amazon's Fred Hersch Store

Visit Amazon's Fred Hersch Store
for 43 albums, 6 photos, and 1 full streaming song.

Frequently Bought Together

Leaves of Grass + Alive at the Vanguard + Alone at the Vanguard
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 22, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Palmetto Records
  • ASIN: B0007GADW2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,544 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

In 1855, Walt Whitman--arguably the greatest poet the United States ever produced--first published his magnum opus, Leaves of Grass. Now 150 years later, jazz pianist Fred Hersch has skillfully adapted Whitman's work to music. With a mid-sized ensemble featuring cellist Erik Friedlander, saxophonist Tony Malaby, and vocalists Kate McGarry and Kurt Elling, Hersch, himself a fluid and finessed pianist, takes a back seat to his wonderful arrangements, which encompass martial cadences, hymn-like timbres, Latin rhythms, and ballads. Part VII and Part X of "Song of Myself," the longest work on the disc, range from Charles Mingus, Scenes in the City-style effects to a bluesy, down-home slow drag. Clearly, Elling's majestic baritone voice is the centerpiece of this work. He scats like a bop improviser, narrates like a Shakespearean actor, and sings like an opera star. It is fitting that that the elasticity of jazz truly captures the timeless essence of Whitman's words. --Eugene Holley, Jr.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
(7)
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Syncopated Poetry February 22, 2005
Format:Audio CD
As Fred Hersch points out in his liner notes, since the syncopated rhythms of Walt Whitman's poems led directly to the bebop of the Beat Poets, why not set Leaves of Grass to jazz? Selecting 17 passages from Whitman -- 11 of them from Song of Myself -- Hersch adds four horn players, a cellist and two vocalists to his trio to create "a small-scale oratorio." Kate McGarry caresses the spiritual lyrics in "Song of the Universal"; in "The Mystic Trumpeter," she scats with Ralph Alessi, who in turn contributes a cutesy trill on flugelhorn at the outset of "I Celebrate Myself." On "The Sleepers," Whitman's fantasy of universal brotherhood, Tony Malaby's tenor sax complements Kurt Elling's falsetto, with the rhythm section providing a sleepy, minimalist drone. In "A Child Said, `What Is the Grass?'" Hersch's orchestration soars from tenderness to ecstasy.

Most people, perhaps understandably, will browse over jazz-piano-guy-with-nerdy-name-plus-some-poet and walk on by. But if the Venn diagrams of your interests include Whitman and jazz, why not have them intersect? What I assume, you shall assume; we contain multitudes. So does Leaves of Grass.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GrownUpMusic.com recommended! June 26, 2005
Format:Audio CD
If Andrew Lloyd Webber can set the poetry of T.S. Elliott to music ("Cats"), why can't a composer like Fred Hersch do the same with Walt Whitman? Fortunately, for music AND poetry lovers, this jazz pianist and composer has done a less "theatrical"/more reverant exploration of the source material. Hersch is an extraordinary solo pianist and leader of his own critically-acclaimed jazz trio, but he's also a composer who continues to stretch his artistry beyond the boundaries of his genre. With "Leaves of Grass," he creates new musical landscapes that blend elements of both jazz and classical music. The result is a listening experience like no other. While the tone is soft and gentle, this is hardly background music for Sunday morning coffee and the New York Times. Rather, like Whitman's masterpiece for which it is named, it is a contemplative work to savor and revisit like a favorite book of poems. Joined by hipster crooner Kurt Elling, jazz songstress Kate McGarry and seven instrumentalists, Hersch tackles Whitman's epic 600-page tome with aplomb, interpreting the poetry in both melody and spoken word. It's difficult to categorize this work: a jazz/classical chamberpiece cantata might be one way. A compelling excuse to pour a glass of wine or a cup of tea and shut out the noise of the world might be another.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I must have! May 25, 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful cd. I searched everywhere for it...was thrilled when I found it on amazon! The vocals are amazing!!!
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3.0 out of 5 stars it's not . . . . June 24, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
It's not just a reading, it's kinda sung. It's sort of a jazz interpretation, which isn't bad, just not was I was looking for. I just wanted a good reading, thats not what this is. . .
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