Richard Wyands: Half and Half

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Although he’s been a steadfast mainstream performer since the 1950s, pianist Richard Wyands has recorded surprisingly very few times under his own name. To my account, the only currently available discs by Wyands as a leader are The Arrival for Japanese DIW/Disc Union, Get Out of Town on SteepleChase and the previous Criss Cross side Reunited. Five years separate Half and Half from its predecessor, although the noble results seem to have made the wait somehow worth it in the end.

Perhaps it's solo performances such as “Beautiful Friendship” and “Time After Time” that best illustrate the Wyands magic, chock full of rich chordal passages and well-developed ideas that beg for attention. His own two inventions, among a set of standards, include the title track and “Blues For Kosi,” both suggestive of latent talent in the compositional area.

As was the case with Wyand’s SteepleChase date and the last Criss Cross, more than able support comes your way via bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington. Hell, these two guys are so good that they could make even the weakest neophyte swing with some vim and vigor. No further commentary really is necessary as Half and Half turns out to be another rock-solid piano trio affair from Wyands with only one complaint from me- I hope it’s not another half a decade until we see a follow up!

Track Listing: I'm Old Fashioned, Blues For Kosi, P.S. I Love You, Once I Loved, Half and Half, Beautiful Friendship, Daydream, Is That So?, Time After Time, As Long As I Live (63:01)

Personnel: Richard Wyands- piano, Peter Washington- bass, Kenny Washington- drums

Record Label: Criss Cross

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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