Dick Hyman & Chris Hopkins

piano duets and solos
*Vom führenden US-Jazzmagazin DOWNBEAT mit der Wertung *4 Sterne* ausgezeichnet*
A top contender for 'Best Jazz Piano Album of the Year' (All About Jazz, New York)
Stereo: *Höchstwertung Musik+Klang*

Dick Hyman (piano)
Chris Hopkins (piano)

All Titles performed by Dick Hyman & Chris Hopkins on two Steinway Model D Grand Pianos
(except Titles 5, 9 & 14: piano solo by Dick Hyman, Titles 7 & 12 piano solo by Chris Hopkins)

All Arrangements by Dick Hyman & Chris Hopkins

CD / Studio-Recording

EUR 20,00

inkl. MwSt., zzgl. Versandkosten

>If you love piano jazz then this compilation is a knockout.<
Horace Meunier Harris, IAJRC Journal
(International Association of Jazz Records Collectors)

>If Mozart can make us smart, Teddy Wilson can make us happy. Life would be easier, more gracious and tolerable, if we made his music the background track for morning rush hour. Wilson’s busy, bubbling music translates into euphoric duos in the hands of his one-time student, the effervescent Dick Hyman, and Germany-born Chris Hopkins. There’s nothing bookish about the playing, relaxed on 'Blue Interlude' and feverish on 'Runnin’ Wild'. These guys cleanly reinterpret Wilson’s clear-cut swing inventions, and flourish their
initials into the book of the debonair, agile pianist. This date recaps the duo’s 'stride summit' tours of Europe. Good track separation lets us hear the duo divvy up duties, as sheer razzle-dazzle transcends mere understanding and respect, and ascends into lofty fun and
games. Joy bursts like Roman candles from four-hand interplay that takes one’s breath on tunes Wilson co-composed with Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton ('Dizzy Spells', 'Opus One Half') and off-Tin Pan Alley hits they reinvented as jazz vehicles ('Bei Mir Bist Du Schön', 'Fine And Dandy').<
Fred Bouchard, DOWNBEAT ****

>We have yet to reach the halfway point in 2008, but a top contender for Best Jazz Piano Album of the Year has already emerged. Jazz institution Dick Hyman and Chris Hopkins celebrate the legendary Teddy Wilson with this duet release, recorded in late 2006. The release contains seventeen selections, most of which are tunes that Wilson recorded when he was a member of the Benny Goodman Orchestra (and smaller Goodman-led combos) in the 1930s. All but four of the tracks feature Hyman and Hopkins in duet, playing music that ranges from Joplin-esque stride to playfully humorous to full-on romantic. One only has to hear the opening track 'Dizzy Spells' (penned by Wilson, Goodman and Lionel Hampton) to appreciate the true potential of hearing what can happen when these two virtuosos are present in a studio, armed with their own respective pianos. On said tune, the players don't 'tickle' the ivories…they shred them. The duo investigates a number of standards such as 'Oh Lady Be Good' and 'I've Got the World on a String,' but also makes time for more curious selections with which Wilson had some affiliation. For instance, Hopkins plays a solo performance of 'Melody in F' by the classical pianist Anton Grigorjewitsch Rubinstein. According to the liner notes, Wilson recorded this as part of a mailorder album entitled Teddy Wilson School For Pianists. Good luck finding that one at Borders. Each pianist gets a few solo numbers and those are just as enjoyable as the duets. Hopkins' other selection is a lovely reading of 'These Foolish Things,' while Hyman's showcase includes a terrific recording of Kay Swift's 'Fine and Dandy.' The aforementioned liner notes definitely enhance the experience of listening to this disc, as they contain a track-by-track analysis outlining exactly how and when Wilson became associated with each one. Therefore the album also serves as a catalyst to seek out a lot of great music from Wilson's musical prime.<
Graham L. Flanagan, ALL ABOUT JAZZ (New York)

>Ein swingendes Piano-Vergnügen in exzeptioneller Klangqualität, dargeboten mit viel Drive, Können und Klasse. Wohl erstmals in der Jazzgeschichte widmen sich hier zwei Musiker dem großen Pionier des Swing-Pianos an zwei Flügeln.<

>Hoch lebe die Tradition! Während sich das Gros der Jazzpianisten an Größen aus den Fünfzigern und später orientiert, hat sich Chris Hopkins den Klassikern aus den Zwanziger- und Dreißigerjahren verschrieben. Er hat die großen Alten studiert, also Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson, Earl Hines und die wenigen KlavierRecordingn von Duke Ellington, und diese Kenntnisse hat er in seinen eigenen, traditionsverwurzelten Stil integriert. Der gefiel dem Altmeister des Stride Pianos, Dick Hyman, so gut, dass der 80-jährige Amerikaner gerne mit dem nicht einmal halb so alten Deutsch-Amerikaner für ein Dutzend Titel ins Studio ging. Die beiden passen prächtig zusammen, wobei jeder mal begleitet, mal den Solopart übernimmt. Gelassen verzahnen sie ihr Spiel ineinander: Hier zeigt sich eine Generationen überschreitende Seelenverwandtschaft, die auch musikalisch weit über die Routine hinausreicht. Mit Spielwitz und Humor erweitern sie das Schema des Stride Pianos, indem die beiden an zwei Flügeln die Stride-typisch starren Begleitbewegungen der linken Hand effektvoll aufreißen und mit der Rechten vergnügte Varianten von Klassikermelodien zaubern. So klingen Hits wie 'Lady Be Good', 'Bei mir bist Du schön' oder 'I’ve Got the World on a String' trotz aller historischen Bezüge jung und frisch.
Ähnlich souverän hatte Hopkins bereits 2005 mit dem Pianisten Bernd Lhotzky das Duoalbum 'Tandem' eingespielt – ebenfalls eine souveräne Neufassung der Tradition des Stride & Swing Pianos. Sei es eine düstere Fassung der 'Black and Tan Fantasy' oder das heitere 'I Wish I Were Twins': Die beiden sind geistige Zwillinge und haben das klassische Jazzpiano ebenso gründlich wie liebevoll entstaubt. Sie zu hören ist ein Vergnügen.<
Werner Stiefele, RONDO

>What a treat for fans of jazz piano duos, of which I’m certainly one! This is the most enjoyable two-piano disc I’ve heard in the past year. The clever arrangements and imaginative treatments of the tunes is a kick and a half. These guys are keyboard geniuses with the greatest musicianship - they do one terrific turn of tune after another, nonstop, and all over the keyboard.<
John Henry

>This CD is a logical if not necessarily inevitable collaboration, a set of piano duets by Chris Hopkins and Dick Hyman that pay tribute to the definitive swing pianist Teddy Wilson. Wilson is a strong influence on Hopkins and a lesser one on Hyman, who knew him personally. Despite the 45-year difference between the two pianists, they play on an equal level throughout this delightful set and, at least on this CD, in a similar style. Hyman always had the ability to play in any jazz style that he desired, and he adapts himself very well to a set of songs associated with Wilson. While Hopkins and Hyman take two piano solos apiece, most of the set features their exciting duets. Some of the selections are arranged tightly so they are performed in a similar style to how Teddy Wilson had recorded them, while others use the pieces as a point of departure for more spontaneous improvising. The accurately titled Teddy Wilson in 4 Hands is highly recommended to fans of swing and stride piano.<

>Die Musik Wilsons - hier vornehmlich Stücke aus dem Repertoire von Benny Goodmans Trio und Quartett - verbindet die Generationen mühelos und vereint diese swingenden Klaviermeister in der Hommage an ihr Vorbild.<
STEREO, Stephan Richter
EUR 20,00

inkl. MwSt., zzgl. Versandkosten