Slide Show - Images (mostly) from The Illustrated History of Painting


Friday, June 19, 2015

"God Is In the House"

In the Studio today:

Art Tatum - here he's playing Sweet Emalina, My Gal (sounds like the A take version).

Tatum is, inarguably, the greatest jazz pianist of all time...and one of the greatest pianist, in any genre, of all time. 

when asked who the greatest pianist in the world was, Vladimir Horowitz replied, without hesitation, ‘Art Tatum’.  Also Horowitz said ,in an interview, that ‘If Art Tatum took up classical music seriously, I’d quit my job the next day’.

Pianist Fats Waller once announced Tatum by saying "God is in the house".

It takes some listening for the ear to get accustomed  to Tatum's perfection ... to aurally accommodate  his uncanny precision and speed.  Tatum's playing has, at times, been erroneously described as 'mechanical' - akin to a player-piano roll. Tatum plays with such speed and aplomb that his two handed pieces have sometimes been mistaken for four-handed performances.

The longer one listens to Tatum the more the heroic poetry and rich veins of sweetness begin to pronounce themselves. But long studio sessions listening to nothing but this genius can, admittedly, be wearing. Bill Evan's - with his occasional flaws and heart-on-sleeve humanity is easier to live with over long periods in the studio.