Notes. Ruppli session note:All titles issued on CD MCAD, Aff(E)AFS 3. All titles, except DLAB, also issued on CD Classics(F) All titles. View credits, reviews, tracks and shop for the Shellac release of Elégie / Humoresque on Discogs. Check out Humoresque (Live) by Art Tatum on Amazon Music. Stream ad-free or purchase CD’s and MP3s now on
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The most prodigiously gifted pianist in the history of jazz, Art Tatum also lived the jazz life – crammed with after hours jam sessions, cutting contests, and plenty of nights spent drinking and playing until dawn. Despite a robust constitution although he was partially blind Tatum’s lifestyle caught up with him in the end, and he died prematurely from kidney failure, although he was still playing at a formidably high level until shortly before his death.
His basic style was developed from that of Fats Waller, but his brilliant rapid runs from one extreme of the keyboard to another, and his ability to vary tempo, key, passing harmonies, and the underlying beat, made him the complete solo pianist.
His skill was such that at times it sounded almost as if two pianists were playing on his recordings. He grew up in Toledo, Ohio, and by his late teens was playing all around town, as well as broadcasting on a local network.
In the early s he worked as part of an accompanying piano duet for singer Adelaide Hall, but by had launched his solo career both in live performance and on disc. From time to time he toured or recorded with a trio, using guitar and bass as the other humkresque.
Tatum never fully embraced bebop himself, but his use of passing harmonies and the speed of his playing were major influences on the development of modern jazz.
His remarkable body of final recordings, both as a soloist and in group settings, were the result of his association with the producer Norman Granz, who released the results on his Verve label, and did much to preserve Tatum’s legacy for posterity. Tatum is considered one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time. His performances were hailed for their technical proficiency and creativity, which set a new standard for jazz piano virtuosity. Critic Scott Yanow wrote, “Tatum’s quick reflexes and boundless imagination kept his improvisations filled with fresh and sometimes futuristic ideas that put him way ahead of his contemporaries.
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Art Tatum Born 13 October Died 5 November A-Z of Artt – T. Last Played on BBC. Art Tatum Biography BBC The most prodigiously gifted pianist in the history of jazz, Art Tatum also lived the jazz life – crammed with after hours jam sessions, cutting contests, and plenty of nights spent drinking and playing until dawn.
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