Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
B. D. Tutt | London, UK. | 07/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
Over the years Dick Hyman has recorded a number of solo piano albums featuring the work of particular composers, including Porter, Gershwin, Berlin, Ellington, Waller and Morton. This
1986 CD, however, is the most unexpected. For Dick Hyman to produce a tribute album to Clarence Williams is one of the more unlikely combinations in recent jazz history. What next -
Cecil Taylor plays Art Hodes? Williams was a mediocre pianist, once characterised as playing the piano as if he was wearing mittens. His importance in jazz was primarily as a publisher
(with rather questionable ethical practices) and a promoter of a lengthy series of entertaining small group recordings in the 1920s and 1930s. His compositions (or rather, those
compositions on which he claimed a composer credit) are rarely memorable, being better suited to band performance than to piano solo renditions.
Having said that, this is a very enjoyable CD. Hyman is in typically magnificent form, and plays a variety of styles, including those of James P. Johnson, Earl Hines and Jelly Roll
Morton. Wisely, Hyman does not replicate Clarence Williams' own style, except in the case of the much - recorded "Organ Grinder's Blues".
The quality of the recording is excellent - a first class piano and a very crisp and clear sound that does full justice to Hyman's ability. Highlights include a striding "Shout, Sister, Shout", a Hinesian "What's the Matter Now", and a "Cushion Foot Stomp" that recalls Jelly Roll Morton.
This is a CD that is well worth searching for."