Happy birthday, Dick Hyman! The composer and pianist turns 90 next week, and apparently part of celebrating that milestone is to put his house up for sale. The musician’s manse in the Northampton Shores section of Noyac, just west of Sag Harbor, has just hit the market with a not-so-round price of $5,249,000. A brief survey of his career illustrates that owning his home might be worth any expense.Mr. Hyman’s history in show business dates back to such jazz pioneers as Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke and Teddy Wilson and goes all the way up to 2015, when his last recording, “House of Pianos,” was released. He was born in New York City, grew up surrounded by a musical family, and during his teenage years he was already playing in touring dance bands. During the tail end of World War II, Mr. Hyman was one of the rare recruits who wound up serving in both the Army and the Navy. Upon returning home he began working with Mr. Wilson, then became the envy of many a piano player by joining Benny Goodman’s band.
In the ensuing years Mr. Hyman worked with such diverse artists as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Mitch Miller, Ruth Brown, Gene Krupa, Louis Bellson and Duke Ellington. He was a much sought after studio musician and for 20 years served as artistic director of the “Jazz in July” series at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan. He was even the in-studio organist for the TV game show “Beat the Clock.” His most successful endeavor, though, has been as a composer/arranger of music for big-screen movies. His projects include 12 films directed by Woody Allen, including such classics as “Zelig” and “Hannah and Her Sisters”; “Moonstruck,” “Two Weeks Notice,” and “Billy Bathgate.”
This year, Mr. Hyman is to become a National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master Fellow, one of the nation’s highest musician awards.
The Northampton Shores community originated in the 1890s as the Noyac Cottage Association, a summer colony. There are two remaining grand Victorian summer “cottages” on Peconic Avenue. One was formerly owned by William Cauldwell, a New York State senator, and is now on the National Register of Historic Places, and the other is Mr. Hyman’s property, which has 100 feet of bay frontage. The latter boasts, according to the folks at Douglas Elliman, “magazine-worthy landscaping, and deeded access to one of the most pristine and private sandy beaches in the Hamptons, adjacent to the Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge.” The 3-bedroom and 3.5-bath home offers “panoramic water views of the open bay, mooring boats, beautiful sunsets and moonlit nights,” except, presumably, when it is cloudy.
Interior highlights include a living room and sun room, both with fireplaces surrounded by handmade Pewabic tiles, a library with solid cherry bookcases and balustrade, a formal dining room, a chef’s kitchen with solid cherry cabinets and green granite counters, a second-story master suite with bayside balcony, and mahogany porches on both the bay and garden side. There is room for a pool.
Most likely, there is a magnificent piano too—but we doubt that will come with the house, with its owner, Dick Hyman, still being a very active musician.