Art Tatum. WOW!!!!

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by 27sauce, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. 27sauce

    27sauce Supporting Member

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    Inspired by the '20's thread.

    I listened to a bunch of his recording while I was in school, but havent in a while. Unbelievable, over the top shredfest.


    Way too many killer performances to post. Please post ones you dig!
     
  2. deltaboy

    deltaboy Member

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  3. andybaylor

    andybaylor Supporting Member

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    No performance, but a good story..

    My father was a working musician back in the day. He was born in 1915.

    He worked with, and knew all of the greats. Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Evans, he worked with Basie's band, Lady Day, Ella...just to name a few.

    SO on this particular day, we were listening to Oscar Peterson, and Oscar's big influence, Art Tatum.

    He told me a story about playing a gig in Kansas City. And Art Tatum was playing a gin joint in KC that night too. So my father and a few guys from the band searched out the club, to see him play.

    By the time they got there, Tatum was done performing. He wanted to play cards. Playing piano for white folk was not on the agenda. However, he must have taken a shine to my father, and his crew, because he kept telling them, "Stick around. I'll play something in awhile."

    My dad said, "That son of a bitch kept us waiting for three hours. All the time playing cards, and fu**ing with us"

    He'd say, "You boys still here? Well good for you". Stuff like that.

    When he finally did play, my dad said it was beyond amazing.

    And the funny thing is Art Tatum was almost blind at the time. When AT was playing cards, he had to hold them up to his eyes to see them.

    So, there you go.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
  4. Dave Klausner

    Dave Klausner Member

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    There is a company called Zenph, who developed a software to extract high definition MIDI information from old recordings of solo piano. They then play the MIDI back on a piano with the Disclavier system, and record it with great gear in a great sounding hall. The first stuff they did was some Art Tatum.

    http://www.zenph.com/art-tatum-piano-starts-here

    I went to one of the early demos, and it was really spooky watching the keys go ripping up and down with nobody at the piano, but hearing the music just as it Tatum were sitting in front of you playing it.
     
  5. StevenA

    StevenA Member

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    one story I read was that a great musician once divided piano players into groups:
    Good pianists, Great pianists, God, Art Tatum
     
  6. Ogre

    Ogre Member

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    The best there ever was, or will be.
     
  7. KLB

    KLB Member

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    Subjective, and maybe even true. However, a little Art Tatum goes a long way. Because he was so ridiculously gifted, he often overplayed, coming across as someone wired on speed. At least this is what I hear on some of his recordings.

    Which reminds me, if any of you haven't seen it, check out "The Legend of 1900" with Tim Roth. A fantastic movie exploring the meaning of music and life -- and with awesome, occasionally over-the-top piano playing.
     
  8. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    I agree that Tatum could sometimes emphasize filigree and decoration over statements of musical invention in some of his improvisations, though he had a keen and advanced sense of harmony and that comes out even when he's burying the songs in ornamentation, especially in his chord voicings. But hell, that seems like nit picking.
     
  9. gillman royce

    gillman royce Member

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    Easier to find one that doesn't inspire/leave you in awe . Off the top of my head, can't think of one of those, either
     
  10. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    I always liked this one. There's plenty of the flash and filigree but also those great chord voicings.

     
  11. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Supporting Member

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    I forgot who said it,but one of his fellow jazz pianists said: " Everytime i hear
    Art play,i want to give up jazz piano & drive a milk truck ".

    High praise,indeed.
     
  12. 27sauce

    27sauce Supporting Member

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    I like this one

    "Vladimir Horowitz once said that if Art Tatum ever took up classical music seriously, Horowitz would quit the next day."
     
  13. Mark 63

    Mark 63 Silver Supporting Member

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    The sad thing is Tatum wouldn't have been allowed to take up classical music seriously. The schools at the time wouldn't have accepted him, and the concert halls wouldn't have booked him.
     
  14. skronker

    skronker 2010/2013/2015 S.C. Champions Gold Supporting Member

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    What an amazing musician
     
  15. duckbunny

    duckbunny Member

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    I can tell you that in 1937, a group of musicians that included Toscanini, Mischa Mischakoff, Menhuin, as well as David Sarnoff, went uptown to hear "the amazing one-eyed pianist. True story.


    -db
     
  16. SamBooka

    SamBooka Member

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    It is required listening IMHO..
    Personally I have one disk that I dont put on much.. but for the same reason I listen to Lester Young and not Bird.. I can process that much info that fast..
     

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