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Art Tatum?

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rushfan4 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03 Jun 2011 at 1:57pm
Is anyone familiar with Art Tatum?  I was up at FYE yesterday and they had a 10 CD collection of his music available for $12.97.  (I believe it might have been 10 volumes of his "masterpieces").  His bio does make him sound somewhat interesting.  I have a feeling though that his music would have more appeal to my grandparents then it would to me.  Any thoughts?
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js View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jun 2011 at 2:29pm
He plays classic old school swing piano, probably better than anybody.
It is an older style, his heyday was the 30s and 40s. A good way to appreciate Tatum is to watch a video, his technique and speed are incredible. If we don't have a video of him, tell Kazuhiro, he can find anything.

Because its an older style, (30s and 40s) you may not hear much that reminds you of Herbie or Chick Corea, except for when they purposefully channel older styles.

A good way to get into older jazz is a little bit at a time. I was raised on funk and fusion, but I've gotten where I really enjoy jazz all the way back to the 1920s. Learning some history actually helped me appreciate it more too, not sure why.


Edited by js - 03 Jun 2011 at 2:29pm
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Matt View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jun 2011 at 2:57pm
They say he was a monster on the piano and is rated one of the best ever in Jazz.. Basie in his auto biography stated that he only ever once got into a cutting contest with him once. The Count was left embarssed Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dwill123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jun 2011 at 9:47pm
This is what Vladimir Horowitz, one of the greatest classical pianists of the 20th century, said about Art Tatum, "If Art Tatum ever took up classical music seriously, he (Horowitz) would quit".  That's how good Art Tatum was.  Buy the collection, $13 is a steal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote danielpgz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jul 2011 at 4:19am
Well, he was an amazing pianist, composer Igor Stravinsky also praised his technique many times. In my opinion, one great way of getting into his work is by listening his improvisations on romantic piano pieces from Chopin to Dvorak.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chicapah Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jul 2011 at 9:39am
All I know is that I saw just a few minutes of him performing on Ken Burns' extensive documentary about jazz music and I went slack-jawed in amazement.  I've been looking for some of his records in the used vinyl bins for years now but I guess jazzers grab those up whenever they appear.  Sounds like a heck of a deal to me because the guy was a monster!
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jazz Pianist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jul 2011 at 10:31am
The man was the Rubenstein of Jazz!

No honestly though, his technique was unmatched, I doubt even Oscar could top him.
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