Trapeze Catalogue

Art Tatum - The Collection 1932-47

Art Tatum - The Collection 1932-47

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Of all the pianists in the annals of jazz, Art Tatum is the one who is most often cited by greats of the post-war era as a key influence and inspiration. His remarkable speed, dexterity, fluency and sheer relaxed mastery of the keyboard in his prolific interpretations of the standards from the Great American Songbook set him apart from just about all of his peers.

Developing his skill despite his blindness, he astounded observers, who marvelled at his technique, often saying that he sounded like two people playing.

Tatum grew up in Ohio, where he began playing piano professionally and had his own radio programme, rebroadcast nationwide, while still in his teens. In the ’30s he had residencies as a solo pianist at clubs in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. In the 1940s, he led a successful trio for a short time and began playing in more formal jazz concert settings, including at Norman Granz-produced Jazz at the Philharmonic events.

Granz recorded Tatum extensively in solo and small group formats in the mid-1950s, with the last session occurring only two months before the pianist’s death at the age of 47 in 1956. This 93-track set comprises a significant proportion of his recordings from his studio debut in 1932 through to 1947. It primarily features solo recordings on the Brunswick, Decca, Asch and ARA labels as well as V-Disc recordings, plus trio and small band recordings for those labels as well as Comet, and recordings with the Barney Bigard Sextet for Black & White and other bonus offerings.

It does not purport to be a complete or definitive cross-section of this first significant era of his career, but it’s certainly a substantial showcase for one of the great piano stylists of the genre.


This is another very impressive set from Acrobat with 93 tracks over four CDs and the usual exemplary discographical information contained in the lengthy and informative booklet accompanying the discs. The time span covered here is well chosen as far as I am concerned with the pianist at the peak of his creativity... Another indispensable set from Acrobat who in terms of their steady stream of compilations like this have established themselves as the main source of supply of our music. - Gerry Stonestreet (In Tune Issue 354)

This does not purport to be a complete or definitive cross-section of this significant era of his career, but it's certainly a substantial showcase for one of the great piano stylists of the genre. It is a worthy purchase and I highly recommend it. - Andy Simons (Just Jazz Issue 280)

The first thing to underline is that Tatum's amazing two-handed technical ability, absorbing everything from 'classical' to 'stride', always journeys steadily towards a destination, rather than just randomly assembling special effects. To that extent, it makes sense that he was inspired by Fats Waller and Earl Hines, as well as 'light-music exponents. THis nearly five-hour selection from a decade-and-a-half of commercial recording gives a comprehensive account of his rhythmic and harmonic daring, unsurpassed before Charile Parker. If you've never studied Tatum in depth, now is the time to start. **** Recommended - Brian Priestley (Jazzwise Issue 266)

This four-CD set gives a substantial and representative overview of the first 15 years of Tatum’s recording career. He was blessed with a phenomenal technique and enjoyed showcasing it with dazzling virtuosity in ornately embellished, supercharged stride style. Tatum's massive technique is often seen (bizarrely) as a musical handicap but any excess is perhaps a small price to pay for talent and innovation. Certainly the listener can come close to feeling overwhelmed by the sheer density of the arrangements, and the regular rippling cascades for fills. But perhaps that's a small price to pay when considering - and wondering at - his exceptional talent and innovative ideas. Widespread public popularity has perhaps eluded him, but he remains a revered musican's musician, and discussed in the detailed, informative and perceptive notes by Paul Watts ****  - Hugh Rainey (Jazz Journal August 2021)

Disc 1
Track Title Artist
1 Strange As It Seems Adelaide Hall
2 Tiger Rag (5 Aug. 1932) Art Tatum
3 Tea For Two (21 Mar. 1933) Art Tatum
4 St. Louis Blues (21 Mar. 1933) Art Tatum
5 Sophisticated Lady Art Tatum
6 Moonglow Art Tatum
7 When A Woman Loves A Man Art Tatum
8 Emaline (22 Aug. 1934) Art Tatum
9 Love Me (22 Aug. 1934) Art Tatum
10 Cocktails For Two (22 Aug. 1934) Art Tatum
11 Ill Wind Art Tatum
12 The Shout Art Tatum
13 Liza Art Tatum
14 I Would Do Anything For You Art Tatum
15 After You've Gone (9 Oct. 1934) Art Tatum
16 Star Dust Art Tatum
17 I Ain't Got Nobody Art Tatum
18 Beautiful Love Art Tatum
19 Body And Soul (Feb 26 1937) Art Tatum And His Swingsters
20 With Plenty Of Money And You Art Tatum And His Swingsters
21 What Will I Tell My Heart? Art Tatum And His Swingsters
22 I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm Art Tatum And His Swingsters
23 Gone With The Wind Art Tatum
24 Stormy Weather Art Tatum
25 The Sheik Of Araby Art Tatum
Disc 2
Track Title Artist
1 Chloe [Song Of The Swamp] Art Tatum
2 Tea For Two (12 Apr. 1939) Art Tatum
3 Deep Purple Art Tatum
4 Elegie Art Tatum
5 Humoresque Art Tatum
6 Sweet Lorraine Art Tatum
7 Get Happy Art Tatum
8 Lullaby Of The Leaves Art Tatum
9 Tiger Rag (22 Feb. 1940) Art Tatum
10 Emaline (22 Feb. 1940) Art Tatum
11 Love Me (22 Feb. 1940) Art Tatum
12 Cocktails For Two (22 Feb. 1940) Art Tatum
13 St. Louis Blues (22 Feb. 1940) Art Tatum
14 Begin The Beguine Art Tatum
15 Rosetta Art Tatum
16 (Back Home Again In) Indiana (26 Jul. 1940) Art Tatum
17 Wee Baby Blues Art Tatum And His Band
18 Stompin' At The Savoy Art Tatum And His Band
19 Last Goodbye Blues Art Tatum And His Band
20 Battery Bounce Art Tatum And His Band
21 Lucille Art Tatum And His Band
22 Rock Me Mama Art Tatum And His Band
23 Corrine Corrina Art Tatum And His Band
24 Lonesome Graveyard Blues Art Tatum And His Band
Disc 3
Track Title Artist
1 Lady Be Good The Art Tatum Trio
2 Esquire Bounce Leonard Feather's All Stars
3 My Ideal Leonard Feather's All Stars
4 I Got Rhythm The Art Tatum Trio
5 Honeysuckle Rose The Art Tatum Trio
6 After You've Gone (5 Jan 1944) The Art Tatum Trio
7 The Man I Love The Art Tatum Trio
8 Dark Eyes [Otchitchornyia] The Art Tatum Trio
9 Body And Soul (1 May 1944) The Art Tatum Trio
10 I Know That You Know The Art Tatum Trio
11 On The Sunny Side Of The Street The Art Tatum Trio
12 Flying Home The Art Tatum Trio
13 Boogie The Art Tatum Trio
14 Topsy The Art Tatum Trio
15 If I Had You The Art Tatum Trio
16 Soft Winds The Art Tatum Trio
17 Fine And Dandy Art Tatum
18 It Had To Be You Art Tatum
19 Ja-Da Art Tatum
20 Where Or When (21 Dec. 1944) Art Tatum
21 Sweet And Lovely Art Tatum
Disc 4
Track Title Artist
1 Danny Boy Art Tatum
2 Can't Help Lovin' That Man Barney Bigard Sextet
3 Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone Barney Bigard Sextet
4 Sweet Marijuana Brown Barney Bigard Sextet
5 Blues For Art's Sake Barney Bigard Sextet
6 Hallelujah Art Tatum
7 Poor Butterfly Art Tatum
8 Song Of The Vagabonds Art Tatum
9 Lover Art Tatum
10 Memories Of You Art Tatum
11 Runnin' Wild Art Tatum
12 Yesterdays Art Tatum
13 The Kerry Dance Art Tatum
14 She's Funny That Way Art Tatum
15 Gershwin Medley: Summertime, The Man I Love, I Got Plenty O' Nut Art Tatum
16 I'm Beginning To See The Light Art Tatum
17 9:20 Special Art Tatum
18 Where Or When (21 Jan. 1946) Art Tatum
19 (Back Home Again In) Indiana (21 Jan. 1946) Art Tatum
20 Smoke Gets In Your Eyes Art Tatum
21 Ain't Misbehavin' Art Tatum
22 Out Of Nowhere Art Tatum
23 Cherokee Art Tatum
  • Artist:
    Art Tatum
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    June 2021
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