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Dick Hyman: In Concert at the Old Mill Inn (2009)

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During his lengthy professional career, pianist Dick Hyman has been a first-call studio player for many kinds of music, in addition to being able to play any style in the history of jazz. As well as being a sideman with Benny Goodman
Benny Goodman
Benny Goodman
1909 - 1986
clarinet
, Hyman worked in a duo with the late cornetist Ruby Braff
Ruby Braff
Ruby Braff
b.1927
cornet
, played pipe, Hammond and theater organs, along with taking part leading various size jazz ensembles and creating soundtracks for several Woody Allen films. But Hyman's greatest strength is in a solo piano setting, where his imagination and considerable chops are best displayed.

This 2007 solo performance at the Old Mill Inn in Toronto is a typical outing, a mix of standards, time-tested jazz compositions, originals and even modern pop. No matter how many times standards have been recorded, Hyman manages to find fresh paths, with intricate improvisations that never get carried away, such as in the rhapsodic treatment of "I Can't Get Started." In "Stompin' at the Savoy" the pianist incorporates a hip bass line reminiscent of the one he used in his interpretation of Fats Waller
Fats Waller
Fats Waller
1904 - 1943
piano
's "Bond Street" while his lightly swinging setting of "All the Things You Are" has its share of Art Tatum
Art Tatum
Art Tatum
1909 - 1956
piano
-like runs.

The pianist includes two original miniatures, both previously recorded in the studio for Dick Hyman's Century of Jazz Piano (recently reissued by Arbors). The relaxing "Ocean Languor" is a reflective ballad with flashes of Bix Beiderbecke
Bix Beiderbecke
Bix Beiderbecke
1903 - 1931
cornet
's works for piano, while "Pass It Along" is imbued with the stamp of Swing Era great Teddy Wilson
Teddy Wilson
Teddy Wilson
1912 - 1986
piano
, with whom Hyman studied in his youth after winning lessons in a contest. Perhaps the most surprising track is Hyman's arrangement of the Beatles' "Blackbird," which he transforms from a quiet ballad into a breezy swing vehicle.


Track Listing: Ain't Misbehavin'; I Can't Get Started; Stompin' at the Savoy; Have a Heart; Honeysuckle Rose; All the Things You Are; Undecided; Blackbird; Christopher Columbus; Ocean Languor; Pass It Along; The Man I Love.

Personnel: Dick Hyman: piano.

Record Label: Sackville

Style: Dixieland/New Orleans/Swing


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