Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Genius of Art Tatum

I'm inspired by Bill Harryman's post over at Integral Options Cafe of Georges Cziffra playing Lizst to post a video of of the incomparable Art Tatum playing jazz. It is said that awesome classical musicians such as Vladimir Horowitz would walk away from Tatum's performances astounded by his "genius,"that fellow jazz musicians called him "the eighth wonder of the world," that Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff proclaimed him the greatest piano player in any style, and that the great jazz pianist Fats Waller once introduced Tatum by saying: "I only play the piano, but tonight, God is in the house." It is even the case that, quoting Wikipedia, "In 1993, an MIT student invented a term that is now in common usage in the field of computational musicology: The Tatum. It means 'the smallest perceptual time unit in music.'"

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Art Tatum playing Yesterdays.

And here is a clip from a documentary about Tatum.

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