This is the second of an 8-CD, 160-track set comprised primarily of previously unissued radio broadcast performances by the legendary jazz pianist, Art Tatum. The 77 minutes of music on this CD (21 tracks) were all recorded in 1944-45, primarily in New York City. The repertoire is mostly popular tunes of the day, including compositions by Jerome Kern, the Gershwin Brothers, Fats Waller and Duke Ellington, but also includes a couple of ”classical” numbers by Dvorak. Of the 21 tunes on the CD, 11 are solo numbers, two are duo, five are with trio, and three are with full orchestra and vocalists. Art Tatum was one of the most brilliant pianists – in any genre – who ever lived; his astonishing technique, fantastic creativity and blinding speed and virtuosity have never been equaled. Thanks to his great technical command, he could represent the instruments of an entire orchestra into his solo piano-playing. Tatum’s astonishing virtuosity is evident on every number here – for an especially exceptional example, try listening to ”How High The Moon”. Two other highlights on this wonderful CD are Tatum’s spoken introduction to ”She’s Funny That Way” and his five-minute long solo-piano Gershwin medley.
Art Tatum (p), Tiny Grimes (g), Slam Stewart (b) Remo Palmieri (g), Specs Powell (dr), Mildred Bailey and Leonard Feather, Murray McEachern and his AFRS orchestra: Also includes Jack Martin and Martha Stewart (vo) Mel Torme and the Mel-Tones (vo-g) Perry Como a.o.