Jazz could not contain Fred Hersch.
Hersch’s 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; a deep look into the cloistered jazz culture that made such a status both transgressive and groundbreaking; and a profound exploration of how Hersch’s two-month-long coma in 2007 led to his creating some of the finest, most direct, and most emotionally compelling music of his career.
Remarkable, and at times lyrical, Good Things Happen Slowly is an evocation of the twilight of Post-Stonewall New York, and a powerfully brave narrative of illness, recovery, music, creativity, and the glorious reward of finally becoming oneself.