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Dick Hyman / Judy Hyman — Late Last Summer
(Left Ear 641444108725, 2012, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2014-01-25

Late Last Summer Cover artMany of our readers will be familiar with jazz pianist Dick Hyman, whose career has spanned over 50 years and 100 albums. What you may not know, however, is that his daughter Judy is an accomplished violinist and composer in her own right, having worked with Natalie Merchant and alt-trad band The Horse Flies. As Judy says in the liner notes, despite never having worked together “With his 85th and my 60th birthdays approaching, this seems like a beautiful way for us to connect…” And connect they do. Despite the fact that Hyman is primarily a jazz player and that his daughter has built her career as a fiddler these pieces are closer to classical music. Each was written by Judy as a sort of personality profile. “Julie” is about her mom, “Beth” is for her sister, “Hannah” was inspired by another family member, and so on. Then there are the less well-connected references, including “Audubon’s Lucy” and “Wolf Dreams.” This album proves that there are few peers to piano and violin when it comes to illustrating character. Some are lively and spirited while others are stern and no-nonsense. The best have a fragile beauty that is utterly heart-warming. I can see why Judy has become a darling of the NPR set: she’s perfectly suited to immediately accessible musical portraiture. Perhaps just as delightful is discovering what a tasteful and colorful classical pianist Dick Hyman is, especially to have that kind of talent at 85! We should all be so lucky.

Filed under: New releases, 2012 releases

Related artist(s): Dick Hyman

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