321

Art Tatum: The Best of the Pablo Solo Masterpieces

Dr. Judith Schlesinger By

Sign in to view read count
Art Tatum: The Best of the Pablo Solo Masterpieces I have a dear friend, an accomplished jazz pianist, who used to attach the following tag to his e-mail: "I believe in God and Art Tatum — not necessarily in that order." I too appreciate Tatum's peerless mastery of keys and harmonies, his signature inventiveness, impeccable inner metronome, feathery runs, and pioneering ability to bridge the stride before him with the bop that lay ahead. But I can't take too much of him at one sitting, and I finally recognized why: his density simply exhausts me. After about fifteen minutes of baroque tinkling, I usually need a break, and might reach for something with a less abstracted and stronger groove.



Having uttered that heresy (sorry, George!), I still believe that Tatum is essential in bite-sized portions. This collection distills 20 tracks distilled from the 7-CD Complete Pablo Solo Masterpieces box, each recorded between 1953 and 1955 and produced by Norman Granz. The Best of provides nearly 80 minutes of Tatumic transformations, as he turns the pop tunes of his era into intricate inventions. The longer tracks like "Body and Soul" and "In a Sentimental Mood" are especially intriguing, since they are more fully developed and Tatum's ability to transcend cliché is most evident (for example, his witty interweaving of "Swanee" in the latter is nothing less than brilliant).



This recording is a complement to the Best of the Pablo Group Masterpieces , also newly released. Tatum worshippers like my friend, regular fans, and those new to his genius will no longer wonder what all the fuss is about.


Track Listing: Too Marvelous for Words, I've Got the World on a String, Stompin' at the Savoy, You Go to My Head, Makin' Whoopee, Stardust, Crazy Rhythm, Mean to Me, Body and Soul, Ain't Misbehavin', I Cover the Waterfront, Would You Like to Take a Walk?, Cherokee, In a Sentimental Mood, Night and Day, Tea for Two, I Didn't Know What Time It Was, Over the Rainbow, On the Sunny Side of the Street, Someone to Watch Over Me

Personnel: Art Tatum (solo piano)

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Live in 1967 Volume Two" CD/LP/Track Review Live in 1967 Volume Two
by Doug Collette
Published: May 28, 2016
Read "Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen" CD/LP/Track Review Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 2, 2016
Read "Centreline Theory" CD/LP/Track Review Centreline Theory
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 26, 2016
Read "Burning Ghosts" CD/LP/Track Review Burning Ghosts
by Troy Collins
Published: July 21, 2016
Read "Umbrella Weather" CD/LP/Track Review Umbrella Weather
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Days Are Not Days" CD/LP/Track Review Days Are Not Days
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!