Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Art Tatum - The Greatest Piano of Them All

It is not easy to analyze the pianistic accomplishments and inventions of Art Tatum. For instance, even to this day there are many things that are still unheard on his recordings even to the trained ear. So much so, that even with the repeated playing of his recorded offerings, one tends to feel almost premature in his analysis of this genius’ Work. The first and naturally most noticeable thing about his playing, especially to the average listener, Was, of course, his uncanny technique and control of the piano. One of the amazing things about this was the fact that even with this blazing speed and agility, Art still maintained his beautiful depth and tone on the instrument. Upon noticing this unique ability, we immediately bring to light one of the major pitfalls of modern jazz piano, the difficult task of utilizing speed on the instrument without losing articulation and strength of tone. Art had this one facet alone down to such perfection, that he could at any given moment of his own choice, break into a tremendously technical passage, dissect this phrase with one pronounced and ringing note, and continue the phrase as sleek as ever, so that the listener would almost get the impression that the line of invention had never been disrupted. Yet on re-examining the complete line, we discover that the single note between the two solid statements contained as virile a tone as all of the notes employed in the fast passages that preceded and followed it. Any pianist involved in playing jazz piano (or classical also, for that matter) can attest to the almost frustrating difficulty of mastering this type of tone control on the instrument. Another thing that Art used quite often that set him so far apart technically, was beautiful runs in thirds. This medium line is one that very few pianists of this day seem to employ to any degree, if at all. He also found quite a few varied uses for voicings in fifths, sevenths, and even tenths, in his right hand...
Oscar Peterson, from the original liner notes, booklet

Art Tatum
The Greatest Piano of Them All

Tracks

1 Deep Purple (DeRose, Parish)  5:05
2 Somebody Loves Me (Gillespie, Coots)  3:51
3 I Didn't Know What Time it Was (Rodgers, Hart)  4:16
4 What's New ? (Burke, Haggart)  4:34
5 You're Blasé (Hamilton, Sievier)  4:58
6 You're Mine, You (Green, Heyman)  4:53
7 That Old Feeling (Brown, Fain)  5:14
8 Heat Wave (Berlin, Dozier, Holand, Holland)  3:19
9 She's Funny That Way (Moret, Whiting)  3:52
11 Stars Fell on Alabama (Parish, Perkins)  5:58
11 Blue Moon (Rodgers, Hart)  5:02
12 There's a Small Hotel (Rodgers, Hart)  5:11
13 Caravan (Ellington, Mills, Tizol)  2:40
14 The Way You Lok Tonigh (Kern, Fields)  6:41
15 You Go To My Head (Gillespie, Coots)  4:56
16 Lovers, Come Back to Me (Romberg, Hammerstein II)  6:46

*

Art Tatum - p

Recorded in Los Angeles, California ; April 22, 1954

16 comments:

Melanchthon said...

http://www102.zippyshare.com/v/d6iPuIe1/file.html
http://www102.zippyshare.com/v/jftteUu6/file.html
http://www102.zippyshare.com/v/PKinv6SX/file.html

John Pickworth said...

Many thanks !

alfred venison said...

art tatum is indeed very special. and oscar peterson agrees. many thanks for making this recording available to us. -cheers, a.v.

deGallo said...

Wonderful! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

musician3 said...

AMAZING........................THANK YOU FOR ALL

neil said...

New to me, mel; many thanks...

sep troelstra said...

Thanks a lot!!

Fred Archtop said...

Thanks Mel. Art was a true genius.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks, Mel!

Gil said...

Merci

hepcat said...

Many thanks!

furnguy said...

thnx

footman said...

Playing it now. Wonderful. Thank you. Leon

sandor essedy said...

great thanks.

Audentity said...

My first real exposure to Tatum. Thanks!