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Cabin In The Sky What Is There To Say Now April In Paris London In July Autumn In New York Suddenly I Am Only Human After All Rio Cristal Taking A Chance On Love When You Live On An Island I Can't Get Started The Love I Long For I'm Gonna Ring The Bell Tonight
|Instruments||Music and Musicians|
Customer Reviews (2)
- "Masterful!"Review by Big Toots
In 1952, pianist Dick Hyman recorded three solo piano albums featuring the compositions of Kurt Weill, Noel Coward and Vernon Duke. Of those three composers, Duke had received the most public notoriety. His “I Can’t Get Started” recorded in 1937 by trumpeter Bunny Berigan was a major hit and it elevated Duke significantly up the ranks of great – and successful American composers. With Autumn in New York, Hyman pays and plays significant salute to Duke over 14 brilliantly performed selections.
Hyman’s style here can be best described as classically-tinged jazz with stride overtones. A player of awesome technical skill and a canyon-wide range of interpretive styles, Hyman also has the emotional playing gravitas to pull off performing these well-known selections in more of a traditional manner than heavily improvised. His presentation of “Cabin in the Sky” is almost Debussy-Impressionistic. It’s a gorgeous rendition, for sure. “April in Paris” is approached in a similar manner before Duke’s melody develops and engages. There a ton of rhythmic diversity here, too. Take “Now,” for example. Hyman’s Latin-like left hand sets up a neat Gershwin-esque performance. As a matter of listening fact, there’s a ton of Gershwin influence on both Duke’s writing and
Hyman’s approach to same. Duke had a thing for seasonal sounds, so we hear a Parisian April, a Julian London and the title tune, each of which is a tone-poem of elaborate – but- not overdone – technique. “Suddenly” is a stride-like hoot with Hyman’s hands spinning and spanning keys. It’s a highlight, for sure. Hyman’s “Taking a Chance on Love”’ left hand bass strolls as the right takes all the chances improvising both melodically and block-handed. “When You Live on an Island” has an exotic flair. And the title tune is embellished with spins and runs, as well as inventive interpretations of the melody.
While Vernon Duke’s big hit was about romantic efforts – or lack thereof – this album is indeed a superb marriage of pianist and composer, both brilliantly displaying their robust wares.
(Posted on 6/7/2015)
- Autumn in New YorkReview by Simon Sez
Vernon Duke is different because many of his songs became standards. Everyone has heard “April In Paris,’ “I Can’t Get Started” and “Autumn In New York.” As a bonus, Hyman also plays a few songs (including “London In July” and “The Love I Long For”) that probably no one has heard in a zilliion years. As always, Hyman does a great job of respecting the melodies while making the music swing.
Simon Sez: Dick Hyman’s Plays The Music Of Vernon Duke (Proscenium 04) plays both standards and lesser-known tunes by Duke as piano solos.
(Posted on 5/6/2014)
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Listen Autumn in New York - The Music of Vernon Duke