10 stars !!! A GIGANTIC SESSION !!!
JEAN-MARIE JUIF | BESANCON France | 09/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THis was an helluva day!!! The day one of the greatest jazz sessions of all times was recorded . An absolute must, a summitt in jazz music, an essential record for every jazz lover, 45 of the most essential music of all times; there are no words to describe the treasures included in this record. Man,you can't live without knowing what's in this CD !!!
Art Tatum,piano : when he played in NYC's clubs,Toscanini,Rubinstein,Horowitz or Rachmaninoff used to go there and listen to him,and they were all fascinated;they all taught that,if Tatum could play (I mean was authorized to play,because negroes were not supposed to play classical music at this time ) classical,he would knock out each and every piano player.
Jo Jones,drums : the angel with golden hands;drums seem to have been created for this extraordinary man,who started as a tap dancer (you can hear that in his playing) and later became a star in Count Basie's orchestra (1930's).The greatest drummer of all times;the essence of swing.One of the ten greatest artists in the history of jazz,with Armstrong,Lester,Billie,Bird,Monk,Duke,Bud,and a few others.
Red Callender,bass : an underrated but incredibly great bass player;the simple fact of beeing able to support Tatum,with talent,make him reach the highest level of bass playing.
The tracks : Amazon's track listing is completely wrong;they certainly have mixed with another record.The tracks are:
1-just one of those things,2-more than you know,3-some other spring,4-if,5-blue Lou,6-love for sale,7-isn't it romantic,8-I'll never be the same,9-I guess I'll have to change my plans,10-trio blues.
The masterpiece of the session,if I have to name one,surely is "just one of those things";Tatum and Jones are at the highest level ever reached by a musician,the level of total genius.Seven minutes and fifteen seconds of the greatest music ever played.Then come "love for sale","I'll never be the same",which belongs to Billie since June 1,1937,"isn't it romantic";Tatum is absolutely fantastic on all of these tunes;his incredible technique,maybe the most amazing in the piano history,combines with the richest inspiration and the most talented sense of swing."I guess I'll have to change my plans" is a wonderful melody,rarely played by jazz musicians;Lester gave us a masterful version of this tune,January 12,1956,with Roy Eldridge,Vic Dickenson,Teddy Wilson,Gene Ramey,Freddie Green and Jo Jones (Lester Young,the jazz giants,Verve Records)."Trio blues" starts like a Little Brother Montgomery's blues;Tatum's first chorus is played in the perfect Saint Louis style of piano blues.
I could write lines and lines about this record,because it allways seemed to me as beeing one of the most essential ones in jazz;this is something you HAVE TO OWN,surely one of the ten greatest records in the history of jazz.Please,don't miss it: it will give you hours and hours of pure joy.Sincerely,I think that this record is one of the first ones to buy,with Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Sevens,with Billie and Lester,with Duke's 1940 sessions,Monk's London sessions,and some Bird's and Trane's."
Six Of Eight Masterpieces
Michael B. Richman | Portland, Maine USA | 09/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am so grateful that Norman Granz, in his zeal to record Art Tatum with so many masters of 50s jazz, had the foresight to have him to cut at least one session using a traditional rhythm section. Volume 6 of the "Art Tatum Group Masterpieces" is that session, featuring the trio of Red Callender on bass, Jo Jones on drums, and of course, Tatum on piano. This January 1956 session, like most Tatum recordings, is an all-standard affair (with the exception of the Tatum original "Trio Blues"), including classic versions of "Just One Of Those Things" and "Isn't It Romantic," and two tunes that appear as different versions on other volumes -- "Love For Sale" (Volume 4) and "I'll Never Be The Same" (Volume 3). It is truly magical to hear Tatum's unique style of playing so up front and center, supported only by bass and drums. Along with Volumes 7 and 8, it is my favorite recording of the series. In all, the eight volumes of the Tatum "Group Masterpieces" represent one of the towering achievements in jazz piano, not to mention recorded jazz history."
AN ESSENTIAL RECORDING
David Keymer | Modesto CA | 08/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The absolute genius of solo piano playing, Tatum had a harder time in groups --or rather, the people playing with him had a harder time of it. Tatum persisted in playing over other players, and his pulse and his melodic and chromatic imagination were so strong that he buried weak players. But the great alto saxophonist Benny Carter wasn't a weak player, and his sense of time and melody jibed with Tatum's. Vol. 1 of the Pablo Records group sessions is a triumph, as a result. Listen especially to the opening number, an improvised blues, Blues in C. Tatum doesn't accompany like most pianists accompany. Rather, he solos along with the sax. The result has something in common with New Orleans polyphonic ensemble work. It works.
Ditto group session 6, with bassist Red Callender and the incomparable Jo Jones on drums. Tatum is more to the forefront, as is to be expected with only rhythm accompaniment. Callender was always solid, a four to the bar bassist. Jones is a miracle of taste, especially on brushes, as on the first and longest cut, seven minutes plus of "Just One of Those Things."
The two solo sessions? Just as good. Concentrated doses of the most accomplished pianist ever in jazz. (Well, maybe Cecil Taylor matches him.)"