ART TATUM (ca. 1945) Portrait


New York: Gale Agency, [ca. 1945]. Vintage original 10 x 8″ (25 x 20 cm.) black-and-white print still photo, USA. Chip to blank right lower margin, sizing notes in red pencil in right blank margin, VERY GOOD. An exceedingly scarce portrait of legendary jazz pianist Art Tatum.

His playing encompassed the styles of earlier musicians, while adding harmonic and rhythmic imagination and complexity. Acclaimed for his virtuoso technique, Tatum extended the vocabulary and boundaries of jazz piano, and established new ground in jazz through innovative use of reharmonization, voicing, and bitonality…

Saxophonist Benny Green wrote that Art Tatum was the only jazz musician to ‘attempt to conceive a style based upon all styles, to master the mannerisms of all schools, and then synthesize those into something personal.’ Tatum was able to transform the styles of preceding jazz piano through virtuosity: where other pianists had employed repetitive rhythmic patterns and relatively simple decoration, he created ‘harmonic sweeps of colour […and] unpredictable and ever-changing shifts of rhythm.’” (Wikipedia)

Share With Friends: