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Dick Hyman's Life In Music This Week On Riverwalk Jazz

Published:
Jim Cullum Jr. In a recent edition of “A Blog Supreme" on NPR Jazz, Dick Hyman was referred to as “A Living, Breathing Encyclopedia Of Jazz."

This week, Riverwalk Jazz celebrates the music of Dick Hyman
Dick Hyman
Dick Hyman
b.1927
piano
. Hyman discusses the musical influences that shaped his career, and he joins The Jim Cullum Jazz Band on pieces by his favorite composers, including George Gershwin
George Gershwin
George Gershwin
1898 - 1937
composer/conductor
, James P. Johnson
James P. Johnson
James P. Johnson
1894 - 1955
piano
and Bix Beiderbecke
Bix Beiderbecke
Bix Beiderbecke
1903 - 1931
cornet
. Dick recalls his long collaboration with the late trumpeter Ruby Braff
Ruby Braff
Ruby Braff
b.1927
cornet
in a duet with bandleader Jim Cullum Jr.
Jim Cullum Jr.
Jim Cullum Jr.
b.1941
cornet
on “Wouldn't It Be Lover-ly?" from My Fair Lady.

The program is distributed in the US by Public Radio International, on Sirius/XM satellite radio and can be streamed on-demand from the Riverwalk Jazz website.

Prolific and versatile, Hyman played swing with Benny Goodman
Benny Goodman
Benny Goodman
1909 - 1986
clarinet
and bop with Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
1920 - 1955
sax, alto
. He’s been Music Director for Arthur Godfrey's TV show and for Woody Allen's movies Zelig, The Purple Rose of Cairo and Sweet and Lowdown.

In 1956, Hyman had a Top-10 hit single with “Mack the Knife" and in 1968 a Top 40 hit with “The Minotaur," the first instrumental single ever recorded entirely on an analog synthesizer. He’s made hundreds of his own acclaimed recordings and at least 1,000 more with other artists including a long-running stint as a studio musician in New York, recording with everyone from rock groups like The Drifters, to Perry Como and Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett
b.1926
vocalist
. For seven years running, he was voted Most Valued Player by his peers at the New York Chapter of the Recording Academy.

Dick Hyman is famous for embracing so many styles of music so enthusiastically that he is sometimes known as a “musical chameleon.” He has always maintained a strong devotion to classic forms of jazz. Hyman has researched and recorded the piano music of Scott Joplin
Scott Joplin
Scott Joplin
1868 - 1917
piano
, Jelly Roll Morton
Jelly Roll Morton
Jelly Roll Morton
1890 - 1941
piano
, James P. Johnson, Eubie Blake
Eubie Blake
Eubie Blake
1883 - 1993
piano
and Fats Waller
Fats Waller
Fats Waller
1904 - 1943
piano
, among others.

He took piano lessons from swing era legend Teddy Wilson
Teddy Wilson
Teddy Wilson
1912 - 1986
piano
and sat in with James P. Johnson and Willie "The Lion" Smith
Willie
Willie "The Lion" Smith
1897 - 1973
piano
at Manhattan night clubs when he was still at student at Columbia University. A high-school-aged Dick Hyman frequented Jimmy Ryan’s on 52nd Street to hear Eddie Condon
Eddie Condon
Eddie Condon
1905 - 1973
guitar
.

Dick Hyman is the single most-appearing guest artist on Riverwalk Jazz over the years and is sometimes referred to as the “eighth member of The Jim Cullum Jazz Band."


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