321

Art Tatum: The Best of the Pablo Solo Masterpieces

Dr. Judith Schlesinger By

Sign in to view read count
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)

Title: The Best of the Pablo Solo Masterpieces | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Slægt CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read An Eye on the Future CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Cherry ‎– Sakura CD/LP/Track Review Cherry ‎– Sakura
by John Sharpe
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Blow, Strike & Touch CD/LP/Track Review Blow, Strike & Touch
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Elusive CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Transitions CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read "Presence" CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 13, 2017
Read "Day and Night" CD/LP/Track Review Day and Night
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 18, 2017
Read "Night Music" CD/LP/Track Review Night Music
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "Heaven" CD/LP/Track Review Heaven
by Fiona Ord-Shrimpton
Published: July 3, 2017
Read "The Voice of Robert Desnos" CD/LP/Track Review The Voice of Robert Desnos
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Echoes Of Europe" CD/LP/Track Review Echoes Of Europe
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 26, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.