Solo performer: Art Tatum (piano).
Recorded at Radio Recorders, Hollywood, California between 1953 & 1955. Includes original release liner notes by Benny Green.
Audio Remasterer: Joe Tarantino.
Liner Note Authors: Benny Green ; Tad Hershorn.
Recording information: Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA (12/28/1953-04/22/1955).
Photographer: Phil Stern.
When looking up the word "pianistic" in the dictionary, there should be a picture of Art Tatum. A master of jazz piano, Tatum possessed chops that bewilder top pianists generations later; he is simply unmatched when it comes to playing with fullness and articulation. On the downside, Tatum's playing could be criticized as hyperactive, especially in a trio or quartet setting. Although Tatum's approach is indisputably relentless, it is also genius.
Tatum is best heard in a solo setting, since this environment allows him the freedom to go in any direction. Therefore, SOLO MASTERPIECES, VOL. 1. is a great record of Tatum's abilities. Each and every tune is played with true mastery, and he tears through all 16 tracks like a whirling saw. Tatum's version of "Have You Met Miss Jones" is quite endearing, as is his stately take on of "You Took Advantage of Me." However, the best piece may be his spirited and angular rendition of "Just A-Sittin' and A-Rockin'."