249

Dick Hyman/Chris Hopkins: Teddy Wilson in 4 Hands

By

Sign in to view read count
Dick Hyman/Chris Hopkins: Teddy Wilson in 4 Hands 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 to full-on romantic. One only has to hear the opening track "Dizzy Spells" (penned by Wilson, Goodman and Lionel Hampton) to appreciate the true potential of hearing what can happen when these two virtuosos are present in a studio, armed with their own respective pianos. On said tune, the players don't "tickle" the ivories...they shred them.

The duo investigates a number of standards such as "Oh Lady Be Good" and "I've Got the World on a String," but also makes time for more curious selections with which Wilson had some affiliation. For instance, Hopkins plays a solo performance of "Melody in F" by the classical pianist Anton Grigorjewitsch Rubinstein. According to the liner notes, Wilson recorded this as part of a mailorder album entitled Teddy Wilson School For Pianists. Good luck finding that one at Borders.

Each pianist gets a few solo numbers and those are just as enjoyable as the duets. Hopkins' other selection is a lovely reading of "These Foolish Things," while Hyman's showcase includes a terrific recording of Kay Swift's "Fine and Dandy." The aforementioned liner notes definitely enhance the experience of listening to this disc, as they contain a track-by-track analysis outlining exactly how and when Wilson became associated with each one. Therefore the album also serves as a catalyst to seek out a lot of great music from Wilson's musical prime.

Track Listing: Dizzy Spells; Bei Mir Bist Du Schon; Oh; Lady Be Good!; Diga Diga Doo; I'll Never Be The Same; Opus One Half; Melody in F; I'll Get By; Fine And Dandy; Blue Interlude; Runnin' Wild; These Foolish Things; Sunny Morning; I Surrender; Dear; Miss Brown To You; I've Got The World On A String; You're My Favorite Memory.

Personnel: Dick Hyman: piano; Chris Hopkins: piano.

Title: Teddy Wilson in 4 Hands | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Victoria


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read I Know Who I Am CD/LP/Track Review I Know Who I Am
by James Nadal
Published: July 26, 2017
Read With You In Mind CD/LP/Track Review With You In Mind
by Doug Collette
Published: July 26, 2017
Read Departure CD/LP/Track Review Departure
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 26, 2017
Read Roll On CD/LP/Track Review Roll On
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 25, 2017
Read "Atmosphères" CD/LP/Track Review Atmosphères
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 2, 2016
Read "Radio Luboyna" CD/LP/Track Review Radio Luboyna
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: April 9, 2017
Read "Dyad Plays Jazz Arias" CD/LP/Track Review Dyad Plays Jazz Arias
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 12, 2016
Read "Trandans" CD/LP/Track Review Trandans
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 20, 2017
Read "Lovers" CD/LP/Track Review Lovers
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 20, 2016
Read "Beyond The Moon" CD/LP/Track Review Beyond The Moon
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 2, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.