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The Great American Songbook

Dick Hyman

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Album Review

During 1987-1992, Dick Hyman recorded four albums for Music Masters on which he played his variations of the music of Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin and Harold Arlen. This two-CD set has highlights from each of the dates, seven songs apiece. Hyman is as usual quite melodic, swinging and virtuosic. While many of the numbers are taken at relaxed tempos, Hyman is not adverse to playing an occasional barn burner. Art Tatum is the biggest influence on these performances but the music is largely played in Hyman's own style and he is typically flawless throughout. Each of the composers would enjoy these renditions. However Dick Hyman fans are advised to search for the four complete sets first since each selection is well worth hearing.


Born: March 08, 1927 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A very versatile virtuoso, Dick Hyman once recorded an album on which he played "A Child Is Born" in the styles of 11 different pianists, from Scott Joplin to Cecil Taylor. Hyman can clearly play anything he wants to, and since the '70s, he has mostly concentrated on pre-bop swing and stride styles. Hyman worked with Red Norvo (1949-1950) and Benny Goodman (1950), and then spent much of the 1950s and '60s as a studio musician. He appears on the one known sound film of Charlie Parker (Hot House from...
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