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JAZZ : ALBUM REVIEWS : DICK HYMAN “Plays Fats Waller” <i> Reference</i> ****

Hyman is the ideal candidate to bring Waller’s music to life. Included are several tunes the composer never recorded as piano solos (some had vocals, or were played on organ), and one that he never recorded at all (“Stealin’ Apples”). Hyman is also able to stretch out tunes to 6-7 minutes while Waller was corseted by the approximate 3 minute limit of 78 RPM discs. It is a measure of his artistry, as pianist and composer, and of Hyman’s own incomparable empathy, that the results are as close as anyone living can get to the originator himself.


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