Pianist John Herberman has announced the upcoming release of his second jazz album, Spring Comes Early.

Herberman is not widely known as a jazz musician. For 35 years, he split his professional life between a successful career as a screen composer and orchestrator, and as a composer/producer of more than 45 albums of piano and small ensemble compositions for the Solitudes and Avalon recording companies.

Around the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Herberman decided to return to his “roots” and his passion for the jazz of the late 1950s and early ’60s, culminating in the 2021 release of his first independent jazz album, Overheard on a Park Bench.

Now, Herberman follows it up with Spring Comes Early, recorded in late 2022 and early 2023 at the Canterbury Music Co. with Grammy- and Juno-nominated engineer Jeremy Darby.

Both of these projects were recorded primarily with musicians with whom Herberman has developed professional relationships over his career as a freelance composer, and who collectively represent some of the finest jazz artists that Toronto has produced. Spring Comes Early features a large cast of musicians including horn players Kevin Turcotte and John Macleod, guitarist Eric St-Laurent, drummers Mark Kelso and Ted Warren, bassists Paul Novotny and Pat Kilbride, pianist Mark Eisenman, saxophonist Vern Dorge, and vibraphonist Mark Duggan.

The collection of eight original tunes showcases Herberman’s jazz influences, including Miles Davis, Ahmad Jamal, Bill Evans, and, more recently, Snarky Puppy.

Here’s the track listing:

  1. Courtney Circle
  2. Central Park West
  3. Not the Blues
  4. Modalities
  5. Gentle Giant
  6. Spring Comes Early
  7. St. James Town
  8. Ballad for M.T.

John Herberman’s Spring Comes Early is out Oct. 27, 2023.