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 1952); recorded honky tonk under pseudonyms; played organ and early synthesizers in addition to piano; was Arthur Godfrey's music director (1959-1962); collaborated with Leonard Feather on some History of Jazz concerts (doubling on clarinet), and even performed rock and free jazz; but all of this was a prelude to his later work. In the 1970s, Hyman played with the New York Jazz Repertory Company, formed the Perfect Jazz Repertory Quintet (1976), and started writing soundtracks for Woody Allen films. He has recorded frequently during the past several decades (sometimes in duets with Ruby Braff) for Concord, Music Masters, and Reference, among other labels, and ranks at the top of the classic jazz field. In 2013, Hyman teamed up with vocalist Heather Masse for a set of standards on the Red House label called Lock My Heart.
~ Scott Yanow & Al Campbell