Picks and Pans Review: Music of 1937

updated 11/19/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/19/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

Dick Hyman

From the sound of things in Berkeley's Maybeck Hall, where this album was recorded live, 1937 was a very good year. Consider the harvest: "Where or When," "A Foggy Day," "In the Still of the Night," "Thanks for the Memory"—and Hyman does well by it.

Like Errol Garner, echoes of whose touch can be heard here, Hyman plays hide-and-seek with the melody line to dazzling effect. "Foggy Day" offers an excuse for Hyman to head off on a particularly satisfying tangent.

But then there is always something refreshing and surprising about Hyman's interpretation of standards. For example, there is a bit of boogie-woogie halfway through "Where or When," a touch of that same sound in his mischievous rendering of "Loch Lomond." "Someday My Prince Will Come" doesn't quite capture the lyricism of the Oscar Peterson version but is just fine nevertheless. Hyman gives "Bei Mir Bist Du Schöen" more ballast than it has had before, starting off deep in the bass, then moving to the far reaches of the treble notes. Best of all is the tender, fluid "My Funny Valentine," which closes out the album and makes a listener long very hard for an encore. (Concord)

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