This is the first of an 8-CD, 160-track set, comprised primarily of previously unissued performances by the legendary jazz pianist, Art Tatum. This 74-minute, 21-track CD covers the years 1934 (the first year Tatum recorded) to 1944, with Tatum performing in solo, trio and quartet contexts. Most of the music (which is from the 40’s) was produced for the Armed Forces Radio Service - special radio broadcasts made for the U.S. military during W.W.II Besides the 8 solo tunes – including some of Tatum’s first recordings from 1934 – there are early tracks with Tatum’s own famous trio, plus 5 tunes with the legendary jazz guitarist, Les Paul. The discovery of this unknown music by the greatest jazz pianist of all time is the musical equivalent of finding previously unpublished plays by William Shakespeare. While the tracks here are from the earlier part of Tatum’s career, his astonishing technique and creative brilliance, his strong stride piano, blinding speed and virtuoso arpeggios, are all showcased on this CD.
Art Tatum; piano -Slam Stewart - Clinton Nordquist; bass - Les Paul, Tiny Grimes - Clavin Goodin; guitar