Art Tatum

The Best of Art Tatum

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It is generally agreed that Art Tatum was the greatest jazz virtuoso of them all. Legally blind in one eye and seriously impaired in the other, Tatum learned to read music by Braille. His genius was recorded during the '30s, when swing was the dominant music of choice. He incorporated ragtime, blues, swing, boogie-woogie, and classical influences to form his unique style. His virtuosic performances quickly became legendary and were even attended by the great classical pianist Vladimir Horowitz. This recording is from Tatum's massive Pablo output (eight solo recordings and eight group recordings) made between 1953-55. The group recordings ultimately were less effective, as Tatum proved to be almost impossible to compliment; however, all are highly recommended. The selections here from the 16 sessions are a fine representation, but it is highly recommended that this just be the starting point.

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