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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby


Fine And Dandy
Original Recordings 1937 - 1944

Naxos Jazz Legends 8.120730



      Tracks 1 - 16: Art Tatum, piano solo

      Tracks 17 - 20 ART TATUM TRIO: Art Tatum, piano; Tiny Grimes, guitar; Slam Stewart; bass.

      1. The Sheik Of Araby
      2. Chloe
      3. Tea For Two
      4. Deep Purple
      5. Moonglow
      6. Cocktails For Two
      7. St. Louis Blues
      8. Begin The Beguine
      9. Rosetta
      10. ( Back Home Again In ) Indiana
      11. Fine And Dandy
      12. It Had To Be You
      13. Ja Da
      14. Where Or When
      15. Sweet And Lovely
      16. Danny Boy
      17. Boogie
      18. If I Had You
      19. Soft Winds

      There has surely never in the history of Jazz been a finer exponent of solo piano than Art Tatum. While his style is rooted in the stride and swing categories he managed to encompass so much more. Gifted with a technique that would have been the envy of any concert pianist and with an imagination to match he succeeded in making the addition of a rhythm section superfluous on the majority of occasions. That is not to say that Tatum did not make many fine recordings with his trio, four of which can be heard at the end of this disc, but his real genius lay in his unaccompanied flights of fancy. It is then that one can hear his ability to rhapsodise on the slower selections. Even on the up tempo swingers ( and swing they most assuredly do e.g. " St. Louis Blues" ) he is able to give full rein to his startling arabesques.
      The tunes contained here are very much standard Tatum repertoire - having said which even such favourites of his as "Tea For Two" are always new and vibrant in their treatment. His articulation of each note, no matter how fast the run, is always crystal clear. There is no feeling that he dropped on to a phrase by chance and yet nothing sounds contrived - brilliance indeed !
      Having started this review by stating that Art Tatum was the product of a certain era it must be admitted that his music is timeless and that this issue is a worthy addition to his discography.

      Dick Stafford
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