Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Ultimate Art Tatum
Genres: Jazz, Pop
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Ultimate pianist, but . . .
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 11/20/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Unquestionably, Art Tatum is the greatest jazz pianist, possibly pianist (Horowitz was even in awe of him), of the 20th century. Since Oscar Peterson has frequently worn that title for the past 50 years, I once compared their recordings of "Tenderly." Even though Tatum's stayed closer to the melody, it was still melodically and harmonically more complex than Oscar's. To fully appreciate Tatum, it helps to have a trained ear for harmony, to have struggled with mastering the piano, and to have familiarity with the "American Songbook."This present set, while an adequate introduction to Tatum's genius, is somewhat misleading, as I was under the impression it would be a distillation of his best recordings from his entire career. Instead, it's merely a condensed, single-disc edition of a previously-released 2-CD recording on Verve. Moreover, all but 2 of the tunes were recorded at one sitting in producer Roy Heindorf's home in 1955.The sound quality is "enhanced" in comparison to the vinyl recordings I own. While it's gratifying to hear the brilliance of the treble end of the piano, I also detect distortion in the middle register. In fact, the "realism" of the present recording seems slightly overdone, sacrificing some of the warmth, roundness, and beauty of Tatum's piano sound.In sum, this series of "Ultimate" recordings is a marketing ploy by Verve with very mixed results."