Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

307

Dick Hyman: Thinking About Bix (Piano Solo)

By

Sign in to view read count
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 Bix (Piano Solo) is not a reproduction but a refraction through the prism of Hyman's piano and imagination, providing a fresh setting for music originally performed—or in the case of the Bix piano pieces—composed by Bix Beiderbecke. Like similar ventures that take transcribed solos from recordings and orchestrate them (the groups Pres and Bird Feathers, many tribute big band projects), Hyman's renditions here illuminate aspects of both Bix and the bands he worked with that are revelatory, clarifying harmonies and casting melody in a luminous spotlight. But Hyman's most impressive achievement is finding pianistic equivalents for band arrangements that reflect the suave sophistication of Paul Whiteman ("'Tain't So, Honey, 'Tain't So") or peppy, jazz age rhythmic spirit of Bix & His Gang ("Since My Best Gal Turned Me Down").

Only a jazz pianist as completely schooled in both piano technique and jazz piano history could pull off a project like this with the felicity and élan of Hyman. From the wonderful Bix and band interpretations and the four impressionistic piano compositions that make up Bix' "Modern Suite" to the final, rollicking four-hand duet with fellow pianist Mike Lipskin on "You Took Advantage of Me," Hyman imaginatively revives that old slogan: "Bix Lives!."

Track Listing: Thinking About Bix; Singin

Personnel: Dick Hyman, Mike Lipskin: piano.

Title: Thinking About Bix (Piano Solo) | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Reference Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read "Visiting Texture" CD/LP/Track Review Visiting Texture
by John Sharpe
Published: June 20, 2017
Read "June" CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "A Sequence of Waves (Twelve Stories and a Dream)" CD/LP/Track Review A Sequence of Waves (Twelve Stories and a Dream)
by Paul Naser
Published: December 8, 2017
Read "Killing Bugs" CD/LP/Track Review Killing Bugs
by Kevin Press
Published: November 20, 2017
Read "Peace and Love" CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: October 31, 2017
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 12, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!