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Dick Hyman

By Published: March 18, 2008

AAJ: What about the April [2008] concert?

DH: It's one more of I don't know how many "Dick and Derek's Annual Jazz Party at the Y" concerts. It's just a free-for-all thing, a party setting with everyone sitting on the stage, including relatives and guests. We serve Cokes and pretzels and have furniture around and try to party as much as we can. In addition to Derek and me, Bill and his new wife Renee Rosnes, Eddie Locke, [bassist] Nicki Parrott, [guitarist] Howard Alden, the father-and-son trombonists Bill and John Allred and singer Carol Woods; she is a very versatile singer who can belt out a song or do something very tender.

AAJ: What future projects do you have planned?

DH: I'm going to be recording a CD of Bix Beiderbecke for Reference Recordings in San Francisco. This is stuff that's been dear to me since I was a little kid. He only composed five published piano pieces. For the rest, I'll go to the various records he made under his own name or with Paul Whiteman or Jean Goldkette. I'll attempt to do piano replicas, with the Bix parts at least intact.

AAJ: What about other releases?

DH: The CD-ROM 100 Years of Jazz Piano is going to be reissued in a boxed set of five audio recordings and one DVD. It will have all of the contents, less the computer graphics and games. All of my playing will be there, including the lessons I did on Tatum and other people. That will be out on Arbors. [Owners] Mat and Rachel Domber are very nice folks and I'm very pleased that they are undertaking this project, rather than just putting out one CD.

AAJ: You are one of a rare breed who actually talks to the audience and names tunes, something the new jazz listener appreciates.

DH: I take that into account, believe me. Even if it seems to me that the audience is preponderantly gray-haired, I try to make friends with them. When I was a kid, I would slink out on stage, just play and not even look at them or smile. I learned better.

Selected Discography

Dick Hyman/Tom Pletcher, If Bix Played Gershwin (Arbors, 2003)
Dick Hyman, In Recital (Reference, 1998)
Dick Hyman, Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, Vol. 3: The Music of 1937 (Concord, 1989)
Dick Hyman, Kitten on the Keys: The Piano Music of Zez Confrey (RCA, 1983)
Dick Hyman, The Music of Jelly Roll Morton (Smithsonian, 1978)
Dick Hyman, Genius at Play (Monmouth-Audiophile, 1973)

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