Dick Hyman Plays Fats Waller (CD)

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Strange as it seems, pianist Dick Hyman was not present at the recording session that resulted in this CD. Months earlier, Hyman performed 15 Fats Waller songs on the Bosendorfer 2905E reproducing piano in New York. A computer floppy disc of the date was sent to California where it was recorded direct to CD. But more important than the technology involved is the music itself. Sometimes Hyman seems to take these pieces a little too seriously, treating “African Ripples” and “Viper’s Drag” as if they were classical music but, to his credit, his treatment of the Waller compositions (mixing in the familiar with obscurities such as an enthusiastic “I’m Goin’ To See My Ma” and a very complex version of “Bach Up To Me”) does not attempt to copy Fats’ style. A surprisingly uptempo version of “Stealin’ Apples” and a thoughtful rendition of “Ain’t Misbehavin'” are among the highpoints. Recommended.

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Selections: 1. Bach Up To Me 2. Ain't Misbehavin 3. Keepin Out If Mischief Now 4. African Ripples 5. Honeysuckle Rose 6. Viper's Drag 7. Willow Tree 8. I'm Goin' To See My Ma 9. Stealin' Apples 10. I'm Got A Feeling I'm Falling 11. Handful Of Keys 12. My Fate Is In Your Hands 13. Jitterbug Waltz 14. Sweet Savannah Sue 15. Squeeze Me

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