Then let Art Tatum play … everyone there will sound like an amateur. Parker was a whiskey drinker, preferring sour mash to scotch, and preferred the quart to the shot. He developed a very fast playing style, without losing accuracy. It was late, they were drunk, and each easily understood that history was unfolding before their eyes. Legacy and tributes In 1964, Art Tatum was posthumously inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame. And he showed me how to keep my fingers flat on the keys to get that clean tone. At which point Holiday proceeded to beat them both unconscious with her fists.
As a child he was also very sensitive to the piano's intonation and insisted it be tuned often. Tatum tended to work and to record unaccompanied, partly because relatively few musicians could keep pace with his lightning-fast tempos and advanced harmonic vocabulary. Rainey, who was also visually impaired, probably taught Tatum in the classical tradition, as Rainey did not improvise and discouraged his students from playing jazz. Then, as now, jazz players were expected to attend their gigs dressed with a certain amount of elegance and style. The first released records with Tatum were those he made with Hall in August, 1932.
In this way, he developed an incredibly fast playing style, without losing any of his accuracy. With the crowd holding its breath, Hawk launched into a solo at a tempo so fast it seemed to suck the air from the room, ripping off five or six minutes of sax notes, and stopping on a dime. He later recorded with other musicians, including a notable session with the 1944 Esquire Jazz All-Stars, which included Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday and other jazz greats, at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. Recent Updates September 30, 2004: Tatum was inducted into the inaugural class of Lincoln Center's Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame. Everett Barksdale principally replaced Grimes, and Stewart moved in and out of the group.
Throughout these school experiences the young Tatum performed whenever and wherever he could. And the legendary saxophonist Charlie Parker, who helped define bebop, was heavily influenced by Tatum. Two years later Tatum won Esquire magazine's first jazz popularity poll. Later, he would also tour and regularly appear on the West Coast. In the late 1930s, he returned to play and record in Los Angeles and New York. It has not been established why the young couple chose Ohio, but at the turn of the century many factors made Ohio attractive to southern black families migrating North.
His interpretations of popular songs were exuberant, sophisticated and intricate. A 1923 convention of African Americans held in Mississippi concluded that blacks, such as the Tatums, were leaving Mississippi and the South in general because of the racial tensions and effects on the welfare of African American peoples. His protean style was elaborate, pyrotechnic, dramatic and joyous, combining stride, jazz, swing, boogie-woogie and classical elements, while the musical ideas flowed in rapid-fire fashion. But jazz musicians were beginning to incorporate improvisation while playing over the chord changes of tunes, and Tatum was a leader in that movement. Earlier, Tatum had personally selected and purchased for Clarence Baker the Steinway piano at Baker's, finding it in a New York showroom, and shipping it to Detroit. Musical career Tatum drew inspiration from the pianists James P. He died on December 20, 1982, in Geneva, Switzerland.
He was my dad's favorite pianist as well. What more could I say? Ray Spencer in his biography, noted that Tatum was constantly refining and honing down after each performance until an ideal version remained needing no further adjustments. A child with perfect pitch, Tatum learned to play by ear, picking out church hymns by the age of three, learning tunes from the radio and copying piano roll recordings his mother owned. Many of his harmonic concepts and larger chord voicings e. Biography and career Tatum was born in Toledo, Ohio. Tatum recorded commercially from 1932 until shortly before his death, although his mainly soloist nature made the recording opportunities somewhat intermittent.
These interpretations are unsurpassed in conception and inventiveness by anything that has been recorded since. If I did, I'd throw up my hands and give up! He would wait until all the players had performed and shown their best, then he would simply outplay them. I felt like setting my damn drums on fire. Abetted by his classical training, his incessant listening to pianists and other players, his near-perfect aural memory, and his constant marathon playing sessions in after-hours clubs, Tatum's musicianship demanded a wider audience. The first player and his challenger trade licks, one after the other, round after round. At 18 he was playing interludes at a local radio station and within a short period of time he had his own show. But because his playing was so difficult to copy, only a handful of musicians—such as Oscar Peterson and Johnny Guarnieri—have attempted to seriously emulate or challenge Tatum.
The cause of Tatum's visual handicap has never been clearly established. Art Tatum was born in Toledo, Ohio and despite being blind in one eye and only partially sighted in the other he became arguably the greatest jazz piano player who ever lived. From birth he suffered from cataracts which left him blind in one eye, and with only very limited vision in the other. In no time Louis ceased needing to rely only on the largesse of the hookers to keep him in coin. Date of death Nov 05, 1956 Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, U. The recordings Tatum made with his trio testify to that. Along with his unerring ear, Tatum developed an acute memory that aided him not only in his musical progress, but in many practical ways.