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Solo At The Sacramento Jazz Festivals 1983-1988

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, June 23, 2017
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Dick Hyman was recognized as a Jazzmaster by the National Endowment for the Arts in April 2017. His extraordinary solo piano performances at the Sacramento Jazz Festivals (1983-1988) are not to be missed. Leonard Feather described them as simply unbelievable playing. Dick himself feels that these performances were the best of his long career.

Review

FIVE STAR REVIEW October 2017 issue

A major jazz pianist since the early 1950s, the very versatile Dick Hyman has the rare ability to closely emulate nearly every significant jazz keyboardist from a variety of styles. The emphasis is on stride piano and swing on this CD, which consists of previously unreleased solo performances from the 1983, 1986, 1987 and 1988 Sacramento Jazz Festivals. Hyman performed regularly at Sacramento's all-star piano concerts, which were originally run by the late Johnny Guarnieri. After Guarnieri passed away in 1985, Hyman became the director of the festival's Pianorama event. The 16 numbers on this set were originally captured on a Sony Walkman by Siegfried H. Mohr and the quality is excellent, both musically and technically. The biggest influences and inspirations heard during this very enjoyable program are Art Tatum and James P. Johnson, with Hyman performing three of the latter's classic piano works. The album starts with a version of ''S'Wonderful'' that is filled with relaxed virtuosity. Hyman follows with a rendition of Johnson's ''Jingles'' that is taken even faster than the composer's recording. He really rips into the piece while displaying perfect articulation. ''Sophisticated Lady,'' ''Jitterbug Waltz'' and ''All The Things You Are'' may have been performed countless times by countless artists, but these versions sound fresh and lively. Also included are Jelly Roll Morton's uptempo ''Pep'' and a Tatum-esque exploration of ''How High The Moon.'' This consistently exciting program is a joy from start to finish, featuring Hyman at his very best....Scott Yanow --Downbeat Magazine

Talk about a record that was never intended to be a record, this set is pulled from 5 years worth of performances where a Walkman was stashed inside the piano to catch the performances.  With Hyman s timeless Tatumisms flying freely, if you weren t there to enjoy this 35 years ago, such a mistake is now rectified.  Solo jazz piano fans know the outlines of what to expect and if you approach it as such, the minimalism of solo piano won t phase you at all.  A lovely set punctuated by rough edges and flourishes that probably wouldn t surface in a planned studio recording, how can you not be floored by a master that knows his stuff?  Well done throughout. Chris Spector --Midwest Record

The prodigious pianistic artistry of DICK HYMAN is on full display on Solo at the Sacramento Jazz Festivals 1983-19898 (Arbors 19451).  Super fan Siegfried H. Mohr placed his recorder in the piano when Hyman played solo piano at the Sacramento Dixieland Jubilee Festival in the period from 1983-1988.  From these recordings, Hyman has chosen 16 selections to include on this CD retrospective of his appearances at the event.  Most of the numbers lean heavily on Hyman's proficiency at playing in early jazz styles, with many of the compositions having been composed by James P. Johnson, Clarence Williams, Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton and Fats Waller.  He also borrowed songs from the Great American Songbook like ' S Wonderful,' 'Sophisticated Lady,' 'How High the Moon' and 'All the Things You Are.'  Particularly interesting are his readings of 'Jazz Me Blues,' where he is inspired by Bix Beiderbecke's cornet solo on his 1927 recording, the 'Pilgrim's Chorus' from Wagner's Tannhauser, as it was interpreted by Donald Lambert, and Johnny Guarnieri's 'Virtuoso Rag', a piece that Guarnieri dedicated to Hyman.  Listening to Hyman is always exhilarating, and this disc should be an instant favorite for those who purchase it. Joseph Lang --Jersey Jazz

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Product details

  • Audio CD (June 23, 2017)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Arbors
  • ASIN: B06XK96HY3
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,203 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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