Finger Breaker – 2013

Dick Hyman


A dazzling performance by the great pianist

In his career, pianist Dick Hyman has not only been a remarkable virtuoso but he has displayed the ability to play in many different jazz styles.

Jelly Roll Morton composed “Finger Breaker” as a ways of defeating his competition at jam sessions; not only is the work tricky to play but he took it at a rapid tempo.

Dick Hyman, who was 86 in 2013, plays “Finger Breaker” even faster than Morton, really tears into the piece, includes some of his own variations, and somehow sounds relaxed the whole time.

-Scott Yanow

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