As I continue to attempt to change the rules if not focus for critical review, I wanted to inform you of a marvelous new transcription book from legendary pianist Dick Hyman. The highly respected and world renown publishing giant Hal Leonard has just released a 160 page book with accompanying DVD chronicling the history of jazz piano.
This work is a concise history of jazz piano and the key players as discussed in each of the 13 hands-on lessons and four bonus performances. From the pre-rag time genesis of Louis Moreau Gottschalk to the modal post bop of the great McCoy Tyner this may be the finest lesson book not only in depth of material but in ease of use. The DVD is full of close-up shots of Hyman's hands while he performs and analyzes these techniques.
For the uninitiated, Dick Hyman has recorded over 100 albums under his own name. He has played with icons such as Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie and on one auspicious occasion, Igor Stravinsky. Hyman's talent is equal to his resume with the New York Times writing that he "can do practically anything on piano."
I rarely if ever review books but when you combine the publishing genius of Hal Leonard with the artistic brilliance of Dick Hyman then a five star recommendation is easy!