Dick Hyman

Keyboard Kaleidoscope

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Dick Hyman was one of the most in-demand session pianists for all kinds of recordings during the 1950s and 1960s, while he also made a number of albums as a leader. Unfortunately, Hyman's records made for Command are among the most uneven of his career. The 1964 LP Keyboard Kaleidoscope features a number of talented fellow jazz musicians, including Everett Barksdale, Bucky Pizzarelli, Bob Haggart, and Osie Johnson, but Hyman is stuck playing a Lowery organ, so his arrangements end up sounding like rather corny easy listening fodder. Worse yet was the inclusion of several members of the Ray Charles Singers, which does nothing to help the already bland charts. Needless to say, "How Dry I Am" and the Beatles' "Love Me Do" hardly seem like viable jazz vehicles. One of the more unusual aspects of the disc is the rare opportunity to hear Hyman whistling, but that is insufficient reason to motivate his fans to look for this disappointing release.

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