Since moving to New York in the late '70s, the Cincinnati native has released over 45 works, appeared on more than 100 albums, and inspired countless admirers -- among them former pupils Brad Mehldau and Ethan Iverson of the alt-jazz outfit The Bad Plus.
In 2008, after suffering a number of near-death AIDS-related illnesses including dementia and being in a coma for two months, Hersch waged a miraculous recovery that required him to re-learn speaking, walking and playing the piano. “Whirl,” which you can download above, is the dazzling titular track from an album of compositions made during that tumultuous period.
Catch Hersch on Tuesday night, performing with bassist John Hébert and drummer Eric McPherson, at a week-long residency at the Village Vanguard. Or watch him perform “Down Home (dedicated to Bill Frissell)” from his newest album, 2011’s Alone At The Vanguard.