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The Definitive Art Tatum

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Album Review

This sampler has 16 Art Tatum recordings reissued in chronological order that date from 1934-1950. All but the closing "Indiana" (which has guitarist Everett Barksdale and bassist Slam Stewart) are unaccompanied piano solos, and they are drawn from the Decca, Capitol, and Verve catalogs. Tatum was always a remarkable virtuoso so, even if this set is not completely definitive (it could not be without having Tatum's 1933 recording of "Tiger Rag"), there are many gems here. Tatum is typically miraculous on such songs as "The Shout," "Get Happy," "Blue Skies," and "Yesterdays."

Biography

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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Top Albums and Songs by Art Tatum

The Definitive Art Tatum, Art Tatum
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  • $10.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Jazz, Easy Listening, Swing
  • Released: Sep 12, 2002

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