One doesn’t need to dig very deep to find the fabulous in Dick Hyman’s 1963 classic, Fabulous (RS33-862 Command Records). Billed as Dick Hyman at the Lowrey Organ and His Orchestra, this 12-track organ-tastic ensemble covers Danke Schoen to The Best is Yet to Come, and a wide sprinkle of early 60s pop radio in between. Originated and Produced by Enoch Light (owner of said Command Records), Fabulous is yet another phenomenal Dick Hyman release sandwiched between 1960’s Provocative Piano, and 1963’s Electrodynamics, both also on Command Records. If you’ve ever thought to yourself, or out loud, that the organ couldn’t be sexy, get yourself some Fabulous, and you’ll be changing your tune.
Ladies and gentlemen, Knuckles O’Toole is a pseudonym used by Dick Hyman. Didn’t know that until today. Apparently several artists used this pseudonym to release ragtime records from the 50s through the 70s. Mr. Hyman recording only two albums under this alias, and I’m trying to figure out specifically which two O’Toole albums they are. I’m about 60% this is one of them, but what the hell do I know? Ragtime piano isn’t (necessarily) my go-to, but it is a pleasant vacation from time to time.
By far the best late 60s Moog record I’ve ever heard, Dick Hyman’s 1969 insta-classic Moog – The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman offers two parts satisfying melody, equal parts goofball, and a twist of the unexpected. I imagine the Moog to be like the zither for those who aren’t keen on the distinct sound, but for those in the mood (the Moog mood?) for a cheerful listening adventure, The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman are just a needle drop away.
If only for the intoxicating album cover, one should check out Dick Hyman’s explosive, Provocative Piano. Released in 1960, this organ-dancing, cool-man’s-groove music will tickle your fancy just as easily as it tickles the permeating plastic keys of Dick’s outrageous organ. One listen and you’ll get exactly what I’m jivin’ at, boss. Enjoy, and tell ’em the Groove sent’cha!
60 tracks on one LP… are you kidding me? “Hells no” says Dick Hyman with his 1957 release, 60 Great All Time Songs Vol. 2 For Your Listening And Dancing Pleasure. As far as I can tell, there are four volumes total in the Great All Time Songs library, none of which I currently own, with the exception for the Vol. 2 you’re currently looking at. So, you know, there’s that.
At Home With the Groovebox is the musical equivalent of fizz popping from atop a tall glass of freshly poured soda (or pop if you’re from the Midwest). With its unexpected musical nuances snapping and bursting to create a refreshing, fluid wave of electronic sound, this album does an exceptional job of oozing that happy-fun-time-gonna-cheer-you-up style of music. It’s playful, but in a good way.
Revolving around the Roland MC-505, At Home With the Groovebox brings together a slew of big name artists to create individual musical landscapes as diverse and eclectic as the artists themselves. This album could very well be an advertisement for the Roland MC-505, as it is the common thread weaving throughout each head-bobbing song… it’s also featured on the cover. Go ahead, take a look. Those kids are so excited… isn’t that cute?! Ok, moving on.
Starting off the first record in this talent-filled, double LP collection of diverse artists is the famed Jean Jacques Perrey. Remember The In Sound from Way Out!? Mr. Perrey was 71 when this album came out, and the man still ushers in the electronic grooviness with his track titled, The Groovy Leprechauns. Another familiar face emerges at the start of record two, Jean Jacques Perrey’s teammate, the then 78-year-old Gershon Kingsley with his track, Popcorn. It’s nice to see the old, more experienced kids play well with the younger kids and vice versa.
Featured on this 16-track compilation are the following sundry mix of artists (starting at the top): Jean Jacques Perrey, Buffalo Daughter, John McEntire, Air, Pavement, Money Mark, Beck, Sean Lennon, Gershon Kingsley, Sonic Youth, Bis, Cibo Matto, Donnie “Prince” Billy, and Dick Hyman (I guess you’d expect to catch The Groove rhymin’!). I could have just directed you to the picture on the left, but it’s fun to be redundant sometimes… sometimes.
If you have ears that work, I suggest you treat yourself to the good things in life, and get At Home With the Groovebox. A sonic wave of grooviness awaits you.
Editor’s note: This is the 100th post of The Prudent Groove and it mirrors the 100th consecutive day of me getting up too damn early to prudently write about my collection of grooves. Thanks for reading. I’m going back to bed now.