Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life in and out of Jazz by Fred Hersch
Jazz could not contain Fred Hersch.
Hersch’s prodigious talent as a sideman – a pianist who played with the giants of the 20th century in the autumn of their careers, including Art Farmer and Joe Henderson – blossomed further in the ’80s 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.