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I listen and play a lot of music, in particular jazz. For my last birthday I got this double record with Art Tatum. By the time, I hadn’t heard more than a number or two. So I was thrilled.

Art Tatum was a genius on the piano. There is no single musical category to put him in – he created something completely new. He didn’t play swing, bebop or Dixieland – Art Tatum played Art Tatum. He took the usual jazz player’s technique when interpreting a classic and turned it upside-down. A jazz musician would normally take the melody of such a piece and improvise on that using underlying chords and song structure, even if the melody became changed so much that it becomes almost unrecognisable form but added twist and turns, changing the rythm, the harmony and even the song structure. Despite this he somehow managed to keed a light, relaxed feel to the piece even though he injected it full of rich flowing runs, arpeggios and rapid fills.

This probably won’t be the last jazz musician your going to hear about from me.

http://www.duke.edu/~njh3/biography.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNAJlqn0nO4&a=GxdCwVVULXcsZHimTf3D8aPgF2CQrmON&list=ML&playnext=1

Hope you enjoy

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