The last time Fred Hersch was featured on Weekend Edition Saturday, the headline read, "Back On Stage By No Small Miracle." It was 2009, and scarcely a year earlier, the jazz pianist had suffered AIDS-related dementia and fallen into a coma for several months. Since recovering, Hersch has come roaring back to music, releasing a string of live albums to critical success.
A new studio recording by Hersch's trio came out earlier this month; it's called Floating. This week, a review in The New York Times said that while Hersch has been putting out great trio albums for 30 years, "He hasn't made one better than this." Hersch recently spoke about the new album with NPR's Scott Simon; hear their conversation at the audio link.