Sunday, November 05, 2006

Art Tatum 1909-1956

One of the things that made Phil Woods celebration of 75 years of life so notable is that so many jazz musicians don’t get to log that many years. 50 years ago on this date, Art Tatum passed away in Los Angeles at age 47. Some would say he was the greatest pianist ever, without including the qualifier "jazz." Classical greats like Rubinstein and Horowitz were fans. Unfortunately, there are not very many visual examples of Tatum in action. But through the magic of You Tube, you can watch him play Humoresque and Yesterdays. (Notice the economy of movement; he’s very efficient.)

The picture is from one of my favorite Tatum albums. It features him with the great Ben Webster in a sublime program of standards. If you don’t have it, you should get it!

1 comment:

General Bird said...

Tremendous clips, economy of motion indeed. Thanks for pointing them out.