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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dick Hyman & Ken Peplowski: ...Live At The Kitano

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If musical knowledge and taste were currency, pianist Dick Hyman and clarinetist Ken Peplowski would be two of the wealthiest men around. Hyman, an octogenarian legend with killer technique and near-unparalleled knowledge about virtually every style of jazz, and Peplowski, the witty woodwind wonder who stands tall as one of the clarinet kingpins on the scene today, make for a perfect match. Both men have deep respect for the tradition(s) of this music, but neither one looks at jazz as a museum piece; they both recognize that it's a living and breathing art form that's open to endless interpretation and ...

INTERVIEWS

Dick Hyman: The Beat Goes On

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Composer, arranger, bandleader, pianist, soloist and accompanist Dick Hyman has already lived several jazz lifetimes, and as he contemplates his 86th birthday in March 2013, his career shows no sign of slowing down.A New York City native, Hyman served as pianist with a Dixieland band and with Lester Young at the December 1949 opening of Birdland. He served as pianist for Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie when they blew through “Hot House" on network TV in 1952 (the only known surviving video with audio of Parker).If you add up his own live and studio sessions, orchestral ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Heather Masse & Dick Hyman: Lock My Heart

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In a way, vocalist Heather Masse has come full circle with the release of Lock My Heart. As a youngster, Masse used Dick Hyman's Professional Chord Changes and Substitutions for 100 Tunes Every Musician Should Know (Warner Bros., 1986) as a vocal road map through the world of jazz standards; little did she know she'd be recording with the very man who put the book together less than two decades later. Masse, who hails from Maine and resides in the Catskills, earned her jazz vocal stripes at the New England Conservatory, but she earned her reputation in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Heather Masse & Dick Hyman: Lock My Heart

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Vocalist/songwriter Heather Masse received her didactic training at the New England Conservatory of Music and her practicum on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion. Her academy training was in jazz vocals, but her practical experience reflects more folk- flavored fare. Her previous recording, Bird Song (Red House, 2009), was a well- received collections of folk originals, solidifying Masse's folk bona fides established with the wildly popular Wailin' Jennys. Her voice is user friendly, neither over-practiced nor hyper-informed by her education. She is comfortable in her voice. It was inevitable that Masse would return to jazz in the studio, only a ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Dick Hyman: Century of Jazz Piano

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Dick Hyman Century of Jazz Piano Arbors Records 2010

This intimidating, six-disc set (five CDs and a DVD) succeeds on two key levels. Rarely do we find a release that is equally effective in terms of its value as both an educational tool and a source of entertainment. Dick Hyman remains one of the most important figures in jazz today and--with this set--you soon find out why. What makes Hyman so special isn't just his famous work on the soundtracks of various Woody Allen films or memorable concept albums ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dick Hyman: In Concert at the Old Mill Inn

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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, Hyman worked in a duo with the late cornetist Ruby Braff, 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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dick Hyman: Thinking About Bix (Piano Solo)

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A piano is not a cornet. That should be obvious, yet both the name of the label, Reference Recordings and statements like this one by pianist Dick Hyman in the notes--"As with all of these replicas, I've tried to reproduce Bix' solo exactly."--belie that obvious fact. Hyman's reproductions of cornet solos by Bix Beiderbecke lack not only the sounds characteristic of brass wind instruments, but the context of those solos. This is an unaccompanied piano recording; Bix recorded the solos rendered here with mostly small bands playing the New Orleans/Chicago style now termed trad jazz. Thinking About ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dick Hyman/Chris Hopkins: Teddy Wilson in 4 Hands

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We have yet to reach the halfway point in 2008, but a top contender for Best Jazz Piano Album of the Year has already emerged. Jazz institution Dick Hyman and Chris Hopkins celebrate the legendary Teddy Wilson with this duet release, recorded in late 2006. The release contains seventeen selections, most of which are tunes that Wilson recorded when he was a member of the Benny Goodman Orchestra (and smaller Goodman-led combos) in the 1930s. All but four of the tracks feature Hyman and Hopkins in duet, playing music that ranges from Joplin-esque stride to playfully humorous ...

INTERVIEWS

Dick Hyman

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Dick Hyman is one of the most versatile jazz pianists, equally at home in ragtime, stride, swing and bop. He's been a full-time professional for nearly 60 years, with many solo piano recordings, a series of duos with the late Ruby Braff, plus albums of piano duets with Derek Smith, Ralph Sutton, Dick Wellstood and Roger Kellaway, in his extensive discography, which also features outings with larger groups. Hyman has composed and arranged for numerous film soundtracks and record dates. His vast repertoire includes thousands of standards and forgotten chestnuts, in addition to an extensive knowledge of jazz compositions.

All ...

LIVE REVIEWS

92 Street Y Continuum: From Dick Hyman to Bill Charlap

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Dick Hyman and Bill Charlap, Jazz in July, Kaufman Hall, Tisch Center for the Arts, New York, New York, July 19, 2006

“20 years on a wonderful carousel ride is enough, pianist/producer, Dick Hyman mused for a New York Sun reporter upon retiring, at age 77, from New York's most successful annual series--Jazz In July at the Kaufmann Concert Hall in the Tisch Center for the Arts on 92nd Street. Hyman successfully produced six evenings per year from 1984 to 2004, totaling 120 well thought-out, musically arranged, and staged shows. One rehearsal ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dick Hyman and Randy Sandke: Now and Again

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The pairing of Dick Hyman's inventive keyboard with the golden tones of Randy Sandke's mellifluous trumpet make for a set permeated with admiration for Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke. Hyman, who long ago studied with Teddy Wilson, has been prolifically dedicated to preserving and promoting jazz repertory. Among his many outstanding recordings are classic outings with Ruby Braff and Maxine Sullivan. Here the duo recalls, through mostly classic '20s and '30s tunes, the vibrant spirits of Pops and Bix without being merely imitative. Hyman's own “Thinking About Bix has fragments of “I'm Coming Virginia and “In A ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tom Pletcher/Dick Hyman: If Bix Played Gershwin

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Pianist Dick Hyman has to be recognized as one of the foremost students of historical jazz. The authentic-sounding retro background tracks you hear behind scenes in many Woody Allen movies came from bands led by Hyman and his like-minded sidemen. Cornetist Tom Pletcher obviously shares Hyman’s enthusiasm for exploring old works and making them new again, as demonstrated on this joyous paean to two musical geniuses of the early 20th century. The concept and name for the album comes from a 1996 concert Hyman and Fletcher performed at the 92nd Street Y as part ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Derek Smith, Dick Hyman and Ralph Sutton: The Piano Giants at Bob Haggart's 80th Birthday Party

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These selections were recorded in 1994 at the very first jazz party produced by Mat and Rachel Domber, owners of Arbors Records. The party was in honor of multi-talented bassist-arranger Bob Haggart's 80th birthday. I was present to hear these selectios presented to the live audience, so this review is a personal delight to share with the readers. First, however, a brief explanation is in order. In contrast to a jazz festival, which usually implies a larger audience, usually at an outdoor venue, a jazz party is usually held under ideal circumstances: a hotel ballroom, for ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dick Hyman and John Sheridan: Forgotten Dreams: Archives of Novelty Piano (1920's-1930's)

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When I first got into Jazz, I considered anything written and produced before, say, 1999 to be “Novelty" Jazz.

So, it was with more than a little surprise that I popped Forgeotten Dreams into the CD player and was amazed to not hear Kenny G covers, but the style of music that had brought me into the Jazz realm. A fantastic album of songs penned by such greats as Zez Confrey, Willie “the Lion" Smith and Rube Bloom. All 19 cuts on this collection of hauntingly beautiful pieces is masterfully performed by the two men Sheridan ...



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