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Customer Review

on May 24, 2002
There is simply nothing else like this 2 CD set of Art Tatum. Even other Tatum discs dont compare to the tracks he laid down on these two evenings, one of them in 1950 and one in 1955.
In my opinion the sound quality here is better than any other Tatum CD. That is besides the point though. The fact is that on these two CDs you will here the great genius Tatum playing with more FEELING than ever before or after. That is all there is to it.
We are lucky to have 2 hours and 17 minutes of beautiful solos from Artur T! He plays many of the great standards. Tatum offers two version of each of the following songs: Love For Sale, Sweet Lorraine, Yesterdays, Body and Soul, Someone To Watch Over Me. Hearing the differences in those versions gives us a greater understanding of Tatum's genius...that is- how much can be varied within a given song.
Every song is a gem- but my absolute favorites include....wait, they are all so good, i could make a case for any one of them. One track, however, does stick in my mind unlike any other. It is Mr. Freddie Blues. Tatum plays half-jokingly, becuase he tells his friends that they like the "simple" stuff. So Tatum plays a blues in the key of C with no fancy runs at all. The result is spectacular, and you must hear it.
There is also a virtuoso fast performance of Begin the Beguine, amazing harmonies in Someone To Watch Over Me, constant key changes in Honeysuckle Rose, and the performance of After You've Gone which is both sad and humorous. And there are the two versions of Love For Sale that seem impossible to execute at that speed, but I am thankful that Tatum could execute his ideas. His ideas are endless and brilliant.
I must mention again that the FEELING on this album is beyond any other Tatum disc.
As far as solo piano goes, this ranks right up at the top with Glenn Gould's recording of the Goldberg Variations and Arthur Rubinstein's recording of Chopin Ballades.
47 helpful votes
48 helpful votes
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