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Hamptons Life

Aug 17, 2017 11:59 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Homes Of Musicians Dick Hyman And Hal McKusick Both Sell

21 Peconic Avenue, Sag Harbor, the former home of Dick Hyman.  COURTESY DOUGLAS ELLIMAN
Aug 20, 2017 10:00 AM

Two houses belonging to well-known jazz musicians have just been sold. We’re happy to report that one of them is a hale and hearty 90.

As we reported back in February, the home of Dick Hyman, on Peconic Avenue in the Northampton Shores section just west of Sag Harbor, was put on the market with a not-so-round price of $5,249,000. Now we can report that it has sold, via Douglas Elliman. We don’t know the final price, but the last one listed was $4,500,000.

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.”

The other musician’s manse is at 31 Madison Street, right smack in the Village of Sag Harbor. It has just sold for $2,495,000 by Janette McKusick, wife of the saxophonist Hal McKusick, who passed away in 2012. The 3,650-square-foot house has 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, a loft, 6 fireplaces(!), a separate barn, and was originally constructed in 1800.

Mr. McKusick was a familiar figure in and around Sag Harbor for years, and many of his local concerts, such as those at the Whalers’ Church, were fundraisers for nonprofit organizations. He was also a teacher of music at the Ross School in East Hampton. But his “day job” for decades was working with some of the finest performers in the jazz business.

The first album released by the Massachusetts native was in 1955. For the next half-century he released records as a solo artists or a collaborator. Among those Mr. McKusick performed with were Kenny Burrell, Milt Hinton, Coleman Hawkins, Woody Herman, Charlie Parker, Dinah Washington, Bill Evans and Quincy Jones. A full career and life indeed, which ended five years ago at the age of 87.

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Looks like the rich and famous are starting the exodus from the Hamptons.
By knitter (789), Southampton on Aug 17, 17 7:16 PM
Is that really his name?
By SlimeAlive (550), Southampton on Aug 22, 17 6:57 AM
Who would ever have thought a house in Northampton would sell for more than $100K. At least not when I was growing up there, anyway.
By Funbeer (204), Southampton on Aug 23, 17 12:57 AM
Sag Harbor, Music Festival, Tickets, Nancy Atlas, American Music