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Dick Hyman Plays Fats Waller

Dick Hyman

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Album Review

Strange as it seems, pianist Dick Hyman was not present at the recording session that resulted in this CD. Months earlier, Hyman performed 15 Fats Waller songs on the Bosendorfer 2905E reproducing piano in New York. A computer floppy disc of the date was sent to California where it was recorded direct to CD. But more important than the technology involved is the music itself. Sometimes Hyman seems to take these pieces a little too seriously, treating "African Ripples" and "Viper's Drag" as if they were classical music but, to his credit, his treatment of the Waller compositions (mixing in the familiar with obscurities such as an enthusiastic "I'm Goin' To See My Ma" and a very complex version of "Bach Up To Me") does not attempt to copy Fats' style. A surprisingly uptempo version of "Stealin' Apples" and a thoughtful rendition of "Ain't Misbehavin'" are among the highpoints. Recommended.

Biography

Born: 08 March 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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Dick Hyman Plays Fats Waller, Dick Hyman
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