Fred Hersch, Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life In and Out of Jazz (Crown Archetype)
Hersch tells his life story with power and resoluteness as natural as his piano playing. Left by his affluent parents to largely invent himself, he adjusted to his urgent musical impulses and, with difficulty, to the gayness that left him doubtful and confused until he accepted it. From teenaged years plagued with painful shyness and occasional bullying he emerged to become a competent creative musician, then an exceptional one. Hersch’s writing flows with an ease that is bound to resonate with anyone who knows his music. He is moving in his accounts of sexual attractions, survival in the homophobic jazz world of the ‘70s, the ravages of AIDS and the induced coma that inspired his multimedia work My Coma Dreams. He recalls formative work with essential mentors including Art Farmer and Joe Henderson. A minor flaw: this important book lacks an index.