Centennial Celebration

Centennial Celebration

by Art Tatum


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Centennial Celebration

While no single-disc collection of Art Tatum could ever do justice or completely cover his legendary career, Pablo Records issues this 12-track CD from the legendary Norman Granz-produced recordings to let you know something of what the pianist was doing between 1953 to 1956. Culled from the exhaustive Group and Solo Masterpieces series recorded in Los Angeles and Hollywood, CA, you hear the ever brilliant Tatum playing by himself with no need for accompaniment, or inside a rhythm section backing select soloists. The music always shows Tatum is on fire, displaying his unequaled speedy technique, embellishing everything with no holds barred. As a solo artist, you hear his unfettered and alive style thoroughly duking it out with whatever standard he chooses to annihilate. His arpeggiated take of "Moonglow," the hyper-fast then cool-into-stride, schizoid version of "Tea for Two," the Fats Waller-like, witty and fun but not so showy and more chordal "It's Only a Paper Moon," and a dynamic, modal, speedo read of "Yesterdays" are all beyond critical reproach. Of the group tracks, drummer Jo Jones and regular Tatum sideman bassist Red Callender scorch "Just One of Those Things," with the pianist just showing off his ability to rip up demonstrable, burning-hot sixteenth-note phrases at will. Tatum quotes "Old Folks at Home" in contrast alongside mellow trumpeter Roy Eldridge, who is in late on "In a Sentimental Mood," tones it down only marginally in tempo with tenor saxophonist Ben Webster for the classic ballad "Where or When" (mistitled on the back cover as "Where & When,") or jams with Benny Carter's alto sax and Louie Bellson's drumming in a bassless trio on the hopped-up swinger "A Foggy Day." Vibraphonist Lionel Hampton teams with Tatum and drummer Buddy Rich for a memorable bop adaptation of "How High the Moon," while a jam session including Rich, Hampton, Callender, Harry Edison, and Barney Kessel offers the most group activity, albeit well into the moderately paced "September Song." It's Tatum running fast and loose alongside clarinetist Buddy DeFranco, who holds the lead during "This Can't Be Love" with the pianist's staunch rhythm team of the ever-so-great Callender and drummer Bill Douglas. A CD that celebrates the 100th anniversary of Art Tatum's birth in Toledo, OH on October 13, 1909, this collection is better than most budget compilations, and can only whet your whistle toward the purchase of the complete Masterpieces sets, staples for any serious jazz fan.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/06/2009
Label: Ojc
UPC: 0888072314634
catalogNumber: 31463
Rank: 13377

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Art Tatum   Primary Artist,Piano
Louie Bellson   Drums
Buddy DeFranco   Clarinet
Harry Edison   Trumpet
Roy Eldridge   Trumpet
Jo Jones   Drums
Barney Kessel   Guitar
Buddy Rich   Drums
Ben Webster   Tenor Saxophone
Benny Carter   Alto Saxophone
Red Callender   Bass
John Simmons   Bass
Alvin Stoller   Drums
Bill Douglass   Drums

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Irving Mills   Composer
Vincent Youmans   Composer
Harold Arlen   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Jerome Kern   Composer
Eddie DeLange   Composer
Duke Ellington   Composer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Nancy Hamilton   Composer
Otto Harbach   Composer
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg   Composer
Lorenz Hart   Composer
Will Hudson   Composer
Manny Kurtz   Composer
Cole Porter   Composer
Maxwell Anderson   Composer
Ashley Kahn   Liner Notes
William Lewis   Composer

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