The Art Of Jazz Piano

Art Tatum

 

A definitive documentary on the remarkable pianist

Art Tatum (1909-56) is considered by many to be the greatest soloist in jazz history.

The pianist not only could play with blinding speed but he was so harmonically advanced in the 1930s that it would take the jazz world at least 30 years to catch up with him.

The documentary begins with Les Paul talking about he thought he was a good piano player but, after he heard an Art Tatum record, he immediately quit playing piano and switched to guitar.

There is only a limited amount of film on Tatum and all three clips including “Yesterdays” are included in the documentary.

By having informative interviews about Tatum including from Dick Hyman (who is rather remarkable himself as he demonstrates several styles), Hank Jones, Eddie Barefield, Milt Hinton, Maurice Waller (Fats’ son), and Karl Tatum (Art’s son). plus many photos, one gets as full a picture of the innovative pianist as possible.

-Scott Yanow

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