Dick Hyman

A Zillion Strings and Dick Hyman at the Piano

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Dick Hyman was a jack-of-all trades keyboardist throughout much of the 1950s and 1960s, recording both jazz and easy listening albums on various keyboards before eventually focusing primarily on the former. This 1960 Everest LP clearly falls in the easy listening camp, with Hyman's lush piano backed by a large string orchestra, conducted by Jules Schacter. Even though there are two jazz compositions included ("Caravan" and "Sugar Blues") on the album, as well as several standards favored by jazz musicians ("Willow Weep for Me" and "I'll Never Be the Same") Hyman never takes the opportunity to show his true capabilities at the piano, as that might have overwhelmed the intended audience for this recording. His one original for this date, the Hawaiian-like "Kaipuala" was a jaunty vehicle written for a television sequence featuring Arthur Godfrey, for whom he served as music director for a time. While this is pretty music, most fans of Dick Hyman will prefer his jazz-oriented dates to this less adventurous record.