With the exception of a version of "Fickle Fay Creep," this single CD has all of the music recorded by Dick Hyman for tribute LPs for Jelly Roll Morton and James P. Johnson. By varying the instrumentation (which ranges from a piano solo and duets to a big band) and by picking musicians who really understand vintage jazz, Hyman put together two classic sets. The Morton date features such musicians as clarinetist Kenny Davern (doubling on soprano), violinist Joe Venuti, trumpeter Pee Wee Erwin, and trombonist Vic Dickenson (among others), and the highlights include Hyman's showcase on "Fingerbuster," "King Porter Stomp," "The Crave," and an exuberant "Black Bottom Stomp." The James P. Johnson project is most notable for three duets by Hyman (one on pipe organ) with cornetist Ruby Braff and for excellent orchestrations for both a theater orchestra and a jazz band. Essential music for any serious pre-bop collection.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow