From solo to big band, all great stuff
Farrar Hudkins | New Orleans | 06/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here Dick Hyman re-creates the sound of two early jazz legends, in arrangements from big band to theatre orchestra, solo, duo, and trio. The cool thing is that even though Hyman has, in his orchestration, created the same instrumentation that would have existed at the time, he doesn't restrict his players by having them improvise in any particular style: Joe Venuti sounds like Joe Venuti, Ruby Braff sounds like Ruby Braff, and so forth. Despite the fact that the recordings were done in 1973 and 1975 (at 30th Street Studios NYC), the sound quality is excellent -- I am not sure if Sony has remastered the tapes or not for this 1992 re-release, but in any event it sounds fantastic.
Things to listen for:
- "The Finger Breaker" and "Caprice Rag"... Dick is amazing when he plays solo stride piano...
- The duet with Ruby Braff on "Snowy Morning Blues"...
- The fantastic arrangements of "Black Bottom Stomp" and "Selections from Runnin' Wild"...
... and the soulful playing of everybody involved, including the legendary versatile drummer Panama Francis and the late great Venuti and Braff, Phil Bodner, and Milt Hinton.
This one never stays on my shelf for very long."