Dick Hyman / Judy Hyman

Late Last Summer

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This beautiful, lyrical, and sensuous set of father-daughter violin/fiddle and piano duets falls under the notion of "better late than never," as it was recorded when famed jazz pianist and musical director Dick Hyman was 85 and his daughter Judy, Emmy-winning TV music composer and a founding member of famed alt-rock/folk band the Horse Flies with her husband Jeff Claus, was closing in on 60. The hypnotic, gracefully flowing (but dramatically percussive in spots -- check out the tango-flavored "Wolf Dreams") set of 13 tracks consists of waltzes that Judy had penned over the previous ten years -- all of which lend themselves beautifully to seamless collaborative magic. Though it may shape up as a once-in-a-lifetime weeklong session that doesn't lend itself to a follow-up, it's notable because it takes both Hymans out of their accolade-filled comfort zones. There are jazzy elements, but it's not jazz. Judy approaches her instrument in ways that recall her best fiddle music and her classical background, but the duets aren't limited to those forms. Knowing from the liner notes that many of these pieces were written for family members and friends (like the dreamy, gently swaying wedding song "Victor and Naomi") adds a special intimacy. Another track, the lush and sweeping "Audubon's Lucy," was originally composed for the soundtrack of a documentary on 19th century ornithologist James Audubon. Overall, Late Last Summer is a powerful expression of deep family ties as the torch is passed to the next generation.

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