New Fred Hersch Album with WDR Big Band & Vince Mendozza
May 23, 2019
On June 7th, Fred Hersch will release Begin Again, a career-spanning album with WDR BigBand, arranged & conducted by Vince Mendoza.
Begin Again, Hersch’s new Palmetto release featuring the Cologne-based WDR Big Band, arranged and conducted by six-time Grammy winner Vince Mendoza, serves as both an expertly curated overview of the pianist’s oeuvre and a singular new entry in his expansive discography. The album features nine of Hersch’s original compositions, plucked from throughout his various projects and preferred formats, including one previously unrecorded piece. Mendoza’s impeccable orchestrations—robust yet refined, essential yet understated—manage to bolster Hersch’s striking gifts for melody and expressivity while also showcasing the remarkable abilities of the Grammy-winning WDR band, which DownBeat recently described as “one of Europe’s finest large jazz ensembles.” In Ellingtonian fashion, Mendoza has through experience gained a deep understanding of the WDR’s members as distinctive voices (not to mention masterful doublers), and he applies these timbres in brilliantly coloristic ways. On Begin Again, that also means granting well-deserved solo opportunities to thoughtfully expressive players like the alto saxophonists Johan Hörlén and Karolina Strassmayer, the tenor saxophonist Paul Heller, the trumpeters Ruud Breuls and Andy Haderer, the trombonists Ludwig Nuss and Andy Hunter, and the drummer Hans Dekker.