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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 ...



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