All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

220

Hal Schaefer: How Do You Like This Piano Playing?

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Hal Schaefer is a Hollywood musician jack-of-all-trades, at one time or another serving as a pianist, arranger, composer, and conductor. He got his professional start in the big bands of the Dorsey Brothers, Benny Carter, and Harry James. However, Schaefer kept the doors open by serving as a vocal coach to celebrities otherwise not singers, including Mitzi Gaynor, Susan Hayward, Robert Wagner, Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe. It was Schaefer who provided Monroe the arrangement for her barn-burning "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend."

Schaefer recorded these sides at his own expense, as documentation of his art and playing in the early 1960s. He subsequently stored the tapes, which survived a move and storage in a shed behind his house until his yard service notified him that an insect infestation endangered the building. Lo and behold, these 45 year- old recordings surfaced in pristine condition and are now being made available.

So, what of this long lost piano recital that Schaefer committed to tape on his own time and dime? It predates and predicts by almost 50 years Martial Solal's Live at the Village Vanguard: I Can't Give You Anything But Love (Cam Jazz, 2009). Schaefer shows a most post-modern disregard for strict form and actively improvises—not just harmonically and melodically, but tempo and rhythm-wise also.

Schaefer's longest daydream initiates the disc. He plays "There's No Business Like Show Business" like Vladimir Horowitz played "Stars and Stripes Forever," with over-the-top pomp and circumstance. Schaefer turns the show tune inside out, shakes it up, and pours it into a martini glass. "My Romance," "All The Things You Are," and "The Man I Love" are similarly transformed, all reconstructed and reassembled as new musical matter half a century old.


Track Listing: There's No Business Like Show Business; My Romance; Dancing in the Dark; All the Things You Are; Love for Sale; The Man I Love; Speak Low.

Personnel: Hal Schaefer: piano.

Title: How Do You Like This Piano Playing? | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Summit Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Rumah Batu CD/LP/Track Review
Rumah Batu
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 17, 2018
Read The Bat Swings! CD/LP/Track Review
The Bat Swings!
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 17, 2018
Read Terrestrial CD/LP/Track Review
Terrestrial
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 17, 2018
Read Get Somethin' CD/LP/Track Review
Get Somethin'
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 17, 2018
Read Bansangu Orchestra CD/LP/Track Review
Bansangu Orchestra
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 17, 2018
Read Smart Grid CD/LP/Track Review
Smart Grid
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 16, 2018
Read "Edge Detection" CD/LP/Track Review Edge Detection
by Doug Collette
Published: March 4, 2018
Read "To the Bone" CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "EE-YA-GI (Stories)" CD/LP/Track Review EE-YA-GI (Stories)
by Troy Dostert
Published: November 13, 2017
Read "Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics" CD/LP/Track Review Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: July 5, 2018
Read "Onyx Noir - Jazz Works For Brass Quintet" CD/LP/Track Review Onyx Noir - Jazz Works For Brass Quintet
by Gareth Thompson
Published: June 23, 2018
Read "Verisimilitude" CD/LP/Track Review Verisimilitude
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 1, 2017