Consilience Productions
CD Picks

Art Tatum
(b. 10/13/09 - Toledo, OH    d. 11/4/56 - Los Angeles, CA)

Title: 20th Century Piano Genius
Personnel: Art Tatum (solo piano). Original recordings produced by Ray Heindorf at his home in Hollywood in 1950 and 1955.
Recorded: 1950 & 1955
Label: Verve
Comments: It is not an exaggeration to say that Art Tatum is one of the most important piano players of the 20th century in any genre. Partially blind at birth, Art Tatum was held in such high esteem that it is said that Oscar Peterson remarked once, "God just entered," when Art walked into a club. First of all, his facility was just unparalleled, as many a classical master stopped by to check it out when he performed. Secondly, his harmonic conception and ability to shift directions on a dime were just remarkable. This double CD documents a semi-private concert he gave in a benefactor's private living room on two separate occasions. A must-must have in any serious jazz collection.
Title: The Tatum Group Masterpieces - 8 separate CD's
Personnel: Art Tatum (piano), Lionel Hampton (vibes), Harry Edison (trumpet), Buddy Rich (drums), Red Callender (bass), Barney Kessel (guitar), others...
Recorded: 1954-56
Label: Pablo
Comments: Even "God" has some drawbacks, as his detractors claimed that he was not a terrific ensemble player. The fact of the matter was that he had so much to say all the time, that he was constantly playing the piano. Pablo put out this series that can be picked up one CD at a time. The listener must make up his own mind: Is Art Tatum preferred in the solo piano setting or with other musicians?

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