307

Dick Hyman: Thinking About Bix (Piano Solo)

By

Sign in to view read count
Dick Hyman: Thinking About Bix (Piano Solo) 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 Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read The Late Trane CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 13, 2016
Read "Shovel Down" CD/LP/Track Review Shovel Down
by Doug Collette
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "A Moment In Time" CD/LP/Track Review A Moment In Time
by James Nadal
Published: July 21, 2016
Read "Towards Language" CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read "Alpha Nebula Expanded: The Monster Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Alpha Nebula Expanded: The Monster Peace
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 17, 2016
Read "Fly or Die" CD/LP/Track Review Fly or Die
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.