Hyman, Dick (actually, Richard Roven)

views updated

Hyman, Dick (actually, Richard Roven)

Hyman, Dick (actually, Richard Roven), versatile jazz keyboardist, clarinetist, composer; b. N.Y., March 8, 1927. One of the most versatile studio musicians, as a jazz player he is known for his ability to play in every style, but his natural talent seems to fall into historical styles such as ragtime, stride and swing. He was active on the N.Y. scene as early as 1947. He worked with Tony Scott and Lester Young, appeared on the famous television clip with Parker and Gillespie in early 1952, and toured with Benny Goodman. He spent the first half of the 1950s as an in-house music maker for a couple of N.Y. radio stations. He recorded ragtime in the 1950s as Knuckles OToole. In 1956 Hyman’s Trio had the greatest instrumental hit version of “Mack the Knife/Moritat/” This group lasted from the mid-1950s into the 1960s. In 1969 he made another brief appearance on the U.S. Top 40 with “The Minotaur” under the billing Dick Hyman & His Electric Eclectics. He was an early exponent of the synthesizer. His career also included stints with Johnny Desmond, Percy Faith, Mitch Miller, and with Arthur Godfrey’s talent show. He also played sessions on albums by Janis Ian and Don McLean. He collaborated with critic/journalist Leonard Feather on a series of “History of Jazz” concerts and did a series of major historical concerts with the N.Y. Jazz Repertory Company, re-creating the music of Louis Armstrong, James P. Johnson, Jelly Roll Morton, and Scott Joplin in the 1970s. From 1985, he has been the director of the Jazz in July series held at N.Y.’s 92nd Street Y. He has scored most of Woody Allen’s recent films, as well as films by other directors, and written music in a classical style.


Moog: the Electric Eclectics of D. H. (1969); Scott Joplin; Sensuous Piano of “D.” (1971); Solo Piano (1973); Jelly and James (1973); Satchmo Remembered (1974); Themes and Variations on “A Child Is Born” (1977); Music of Jelly Roll Morton (1978); Live at Michael’s Pub (1981); Kitten on the Keys (1983); Runnin’ Ragged (1985); Manhattan Jazz (1987); Plays Fats Waller (1988); 14 Jazz Piano Favorites (1988); Live at Maybeck Recital Hall (1989); Plays Duke Ellington (1992); Gulf Coast Blues (1992); Gershwin Songbook: Jazz Variations (1992); From the Age of Swing (1994).

—Hyman, Dick (actually, Richard Roven) ,