Throughout a busy musical career that got underway in the early ’50s, Dick Hyman has functioned as pianist, organist, arranger, music director, and composer. His versatility in all of these areas has resulted in a long career involving film scores, orchestral compositions, concert appearances and well over 100 albums recorded under his own name. While developing a masterful facility for improvisation in his own piano style, Mr. Hyman has also investigated ragtime and the earliest periods of jazz and has researched and recorded the piano music of Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson, Zez Confrey, Eubie Blake and Fats Waller, which he often features in his frequent recitals. Other solo recordings include the music of Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers and Duke Ellington. Some of his past recordings with combos are From The Age Of Swing, Swing Is Here, Cheek To Cheek, and If Bix Played Gershwin, plus numerous duet albums with cornetist Ruby Braff, and fellow pianists including Ralph Sutton, Shelly Berg, Derek Smith. In a very different vein, Mr. Hyman was one of the first to record on the Moog synthesizer, and his Minotaur landed on the Billboard charts.
Mr. Hyman’s concert compositions for piano and orchestra include a concerto and his Ragtime Fantasy. A cantata based on the autobiography of Mark Twain was premiered with the choral group, Gloria Musicae, in Sarasota, as was the more recent Bottle It Up. A growing catalog of chamber music compositions include Dances and Diversions, Danzas Tropicales, a violin/piano sonata, and miscellaneous pieces for trio, quartet, quintet, etc. Mr. Hyman has been heard in “Three-Piano Crossover” with the late Marian McPartland and Ruth Laredo, and in numerous pops concerts. After serving as artistic director for the acclaimed Jazz in July series at New York’s 92nd Street Y for twenty years, he stepped down, as he has from a similar role in the annual Oregon Festival of American Music. He continues to perform individual concerts in the United States and Canada.…
Named a 2017 NEA Jazz Master!
Listen to the NEA Interview:
Dick Hyman Reviews:
“There’s a ragtime bounce to the music . . . We hear it unencumbered, as this is 100% solo piano captured in all its glory. This session gives us a clear view of Bix as well as Hyman’s talent both as a performer, composer and historian.” —Oscar Groomes, O’s Place Jazz Newsletter
“The musicianship is dazzling. At times, I just shook my head and laughed out loud at his level of virtuosity and musical invention — all in the service of the song. And the sound is swooningly beautiful.” —Wayne Garcia, FI magazine (about Dick Hyman In Recital, RR-84)
“Hyman was in top form for this recital, allowing his blazing two-hand technique to roam free, stating the melodies clealy, then thoughtfully turning his material inside out. Each of the 11 selections is a tour de force. The 10 minutes he takes to probe the well-worn ‘Tea for Two’ unleashes more inspired ideas than any man has a right to. Let’s face it, the man can do no wrong at the keyboard.” —Fred Crafts, THE REGISTER-GUARD (Eugene, OR)
“I was constantly surprised, but never taken aback. His playing is flawless. Is it my imagination, or does recording engineer Keith Johnson just keep getting better and better? This disc isn’t ever going to stray very far from my player.” —Gerard Rejskind, ULTRA HIGH FIDELITY (Canada)
“A memorable CD — stunning virtuosity and audio fidelity that sets an unprecedented standard for recording that most recalcitrant of instrument, the grand piano. An extraordinary pianist with great taste, in total command of a magnificent instrument, recorded with awesome presence and fidelity!” —Dave Burns, JAZZTIMES
“Man, who would’ve ever thought, back in the bleak days of cold, sterile, harsh, metallic, soulless early digital, that we’d ever be enjoying discs that sound as warm and wonderful as this superlative new disc of solo piano music from Dick Hyman, one of jazz and pop music’s most accomplished musicians? This CD is proof. I am flabbergasted at how good it sounds. The musicianship is dazzling. At times, I just shook my head and laughed out loud at his level of virtuosity and musical invention — all in the service of the song. And the sound is swooningly beautiful.” —Wayne Garcia, FI magazine
“Excellent musicianship, top-quality material and grade-A sound.” —Audio