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As Long as There's Music

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Savant Publishing Company
  • ASIN: 5554169317
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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By A Customer on January 15, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Wyands has a great feal for the rythm and melodies of these selections. Often obscure songs are obscure for a reason, but Wyands plays a number here that he makes sound fresh and should be better known. And the well known standards sound new.
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Format: Audio CD
Kenny Washington, who collaborated with Richard Wyands on several discs, said of the veteran jazz pianist that "He does everything right. He's got the touch, he's got the sound, he knows how to comp for horn players, good time.... He just knows instinctively what to do. That's the kind of pianist that he's always been, and a lot of times people don't really notice him like they should. In other words, he is somebody like a Hank Jones or someone like that, who just, they come in, they take care of business -- they don't make a big hoopla about it either.... And then after a while you start saying, 'Man, this cat can really play.'"

Richard Wyands follows in the tradition of a number of other outstanding pianists who went out on their own after working for years, sometimes in relative obscurity, with some of jazz's greatest stars. His path was not all that typical, however. He graduated from San Francisco State College in 1949, with a degree in music, hung around the Bay area working with Paul Desmond before the alto player took up with Brubeck, and worked for an extended period as the house pianist at San Francisco's Black Hawk where he met and played opposite nearly all of the important musical figures who passed through town. Teddy Wilson and Nat Cole were early favorites of his. He toured with Ella Fitzgerald and Carmen McCrae and recorded with Mingus, Gene Ammons, Kenny Burrell, Eric Dolphy, Oliver Nelson, Lem Winchester, Zoot Sims and Roland Kirk among others. It appears that his first recording as a leader wasn't until 1978, and then there's a long interval until the early 1990's when a cluster of records were made including several with Kenny Washington and Peter Washington.

"As Long is There's Music" is an outstanding example of Richard Wyands' innate musicality.
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Format: Audio CD
This recording made in 2000 provides as satisfying a jazz trio recording as you could ask for. Richard is a skilled pianist who has been mostly known as a sideman with such musicians as Eric Alexander, Etta Jones, Teddy Edwards, Cecil Payne, Gene Ammons, etc. In other words, a "who's who" of modern jazz.
I first became aware of Richard when he was chosen by Charles Mingus, my hero, as pianist for his 1959 recording known by titles such as "Wonderland" or "Jazz Portraits."
If these people chose Richard as their pianist, you can be sure he is just fine.
One important consideration is that Richard is still alive and playing as this is written. Many or most of my jazz heroes have died long ago. I hope Richard lives on, and is actively playing.
Richard plays a relaxed, swinging style of piano. He is accompanied by one of the most underrated drummers of modern jazz, Grady Tate. Grady had a period when he was known more for his smooth vocals rather than for his drumming. Here he sticks to his drumming with swinging effect.
Bass stalwart Ray Drummon completes the trio to great effect.
You get fine readings of such classics as "What's New" and "As Long as There's Music." My particular favorite is Richard's solo reading of "My Old Flame." It would be hard to find a better interpretation.
If you love relaxed, swinging trio recordings, this is your recording.
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