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Art Tatum's Finest Hour

Art Tatum

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Album Review

There are many Art Tatum samplers to choose from on the market and all of them contain moments of brilliance. As part of Verve's Finest Hour series, the blind virtuoso pianist is spotlighted on versions of "Liza," "Tea for Two," "Deep Purple," "Tiger Rag," and "Rosetta." Tatum is heard unaccompanied and with small combos on this 19-song budget sampler. While it would be inconceivable to compile a single disc of Tatum's contribution to jazz, this collection is satisfying, especially for anyone new to the extraordinary pianist.

Customer Reviews

The Best...Bar None.

If you have any interest in the limits to which a piano can be taken in jazz, or for that matter, any stylistic context, just listen to 'Tiger Rag' or 'Tea for Two'. Many decades after his heyday, Art Tatum is still without equal. How great was he? Vladamir Horowitz was quoted once saying that (paraphrase), "...if Art Tatum had decided to be a classical pianist, I would have quit". If you are a pianist, you will either be inspired to practice, or inspired to quit as well. None better.

sound quality not that good

Outstanding piano work, but the sound quality on this album is not that good. See other reviews on Amazon. I suggest trying almost any of his other albums

ray m is correct

Great piano; terrible sound

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...
Full Bio

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