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The Art Tatum Solo Masterpieces, Vol. 1 (Remastered)

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Album Review

The first of eight CDs reissuing the 119 piano solo performances that Art Tatum recorded for Norman Granz during four marathon record sessions has its moments, although in general this series lacks the excitement of Tatum's earliest recordings. The pianist interprets such standards an this first volume as "Body and Soul," "It's Only a Paper Moon" and "Willow Weep for Me."

Customer Reviews

Truely the greatest of the great

If you want to hear a great piano player, you need to collect Art Tatum's solo masterpieces. At first you will think there are two people playing the piano. Not only does he have amazing skills, his music contains great feeling. I love this collection. I highly recommend it.

good god man!!! those fingers!!

Im not certain I have ever heard piano this amazing. Nothing short of Genius!!!

Lacks excitement?!?!?

This is my favorite Tatum recording. The "official" review says it "lacks the excitement of his earlier recordings." Hogwash. These selections show the sophistication of a mature artist. Less zoom-bang-pow, but more depth. Check out his reharmonizations on every tune -- unequalled in perhaps all of jazz. And his rhythmic displacement on the bridge of "Body and Soul" would throw off almost any drummer.
Some of he most beautiful jazz piano in history is on this album. Get it.


Born: October 13, 1909 in Toledo, OH

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s

Art Tatum was among the most extraordinary of all jazz musicians, a pianist with wondrous technique who could not only play ridiculously rapid lines with both hands (his 1933 solo version of "Tiger Rag" sounds as if there were three pianists jamming together) but was harmonically 30 years ahead of his time; all pianists have to deal to a certain extent with Tatum's innovations in order to be taken seriously. Able to play stride, swing, and boogie-woogie with speed and complexity that could only previously...
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