Thinking About Bix
Dick Hyman, one of the most accomplished and versatile musicians alive, is especially known as an authority on early jazz. After a lifetime of playing and studying the music of Bix Beiderbecke, Hyman announced he’d like to record for RR a solo program of music associated with Bix, including all five original pieces Bix wrote for piano. (Most likely, these are a recorded first.) Hyman arranged other numbers Bix performed with various groups, and plays and improvises upon these in his distinctive, brilliant style. The title track is an infectious Hyman original reminiscent of the period. An attractive bonus is a piano four-hands performance with Hyman’s friend and stride authority, Mike Lipskin.
Throughout a busy musical career that got underway in the 1950s, Dick Hyman has functioned as pianist, organist, arranger, music director, and composer. His versatility in all of these areas has resulted in 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, Hyman has 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 for RR, programs of Duke Ellington and Fats Waller.
“Prof.” Keith Johnson recorded THINKING ABOUT BIX in the renowned facilities of Skywalker Sound in California, using as always his own custom-made microphones, electronics and high-resolution digital converters. The compact disc is encoded with the High Definition Compatible Digital (HDCD) process, and the 176.4 kHz/24-bit masters will be soon in RR’s HRx series, for computerized music servers.
On This Recording
- Thinking About Bix
- Singin’ the Blues (Till My Daddy Comes Home)
- Ostrich Walk; I’m Coming, Virginia
- Jazz Me Blues
- ‘Tain’t So, Honey, ‘Tain’t So
- Since My Best Gal Turned Me Down
- In the Dark
- Clementine (From New Orleans)
- Lonely Melody; In A Mist
- Sweet Sue (Just You)
- Wringing’ and Twistin’
- Davenport Blues
- You Took Advantage of Me, with Mike Lipskin (piano four-hands)
“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)