Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews
“Late Last Summer” – A Collection of Original Waltzes [TrackList follows] – Dick Hyman, piano; Judy Hyman, violin – Left Ear Music “Lock My Heart” – Dick Hyman, p.; Heather Masse, vocals – Red House Records
Published on January 25, 2013
“Late Last Summer” – A Collection of Original Waltzes [TrackList follows] – Dick Hyman, piano; Judy Hyman, violin – Left Ear Music (2012) *****:
“Lock My Heart” – Dick Hyman, piano; Heather Masse, vocals – Red House Records RHR 258 ***:
Dick Hyman is an extraordinary and versatile pianist who has had an 85-year long career mostly as composer, arranger and pianist with all sorts of jazz groups, recordings, Broadway shows, film scores, and works for orchestra and ballet. These two recent CDs are part of an explosion of Dick Hyman-connected recordings which have been issued.
The first is a wonderful collaboration with his 60-year-old daughter Judy, who plays a mean fiddle and composed all 13 waltzes in this collection. She is a violinist, fiddler, composer and teacher. The two of them had never recorded together before, and Judy chose these waltzes which she had written over the past decade or so. She says it was new musical territory for both of them, and like so many recordings today, it drove us nuts trying to decide which of our categories in which to put it. It’s not really fiddle music, jazz or classical—just delightful stuff either as background music or really listening closely.
TrackList: Ralph’s Watch, Save a Thought, Audubon’s Lucy, Late Last Summer, Invisible, Victor and Naomi, Claire’s Resolve, Johnny’s Gone, Julia, Wolf Dreams, Hannah, Breath, Beth
Hyman’s duo with the young singer began during a radio show in New York in 2011, during which they found their musical sensibilities clicked. Heather Masse, who studied at the New England Conservatory in Jazz, is also a songwriter and includes two of her own originals on this CD, plus two well-known Kurt Weill songs. Most of the others are Tin Pan Alley gems. I found I was listening more closely to the generously supportive accompaniment of Dick Hyman rather than to the vocalist, due to a bit of exaggerated delivery on her part. On one hand the delivery is quite straight-forward, but at certain places she seems a bit over the top. There are probably many though who would find this approach just right for them.
Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered; Lullaby of Birdland; Sine I Fell for You; Love is Here to Stay; September Song; Lost in the Stars; Love for Sale; If I Called You; I got It Bad and That Ain’t Good; A Flower is a Lovesong Thing; Morning Drinker; I’m Gonna Lock My Heart and Throw Away the Key