Art Tatum: Sophisticated Lady (Solo Masterpieces version)


Sophisticated Lady


Art Tatum (piano)


Solo Masterpieces, Vol. 1 (Pablo PACD-2405-432-2)

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Art Tatum (piano).

Composed by Duke Ellington, Irving Mills & Mitchell Parish


Recorded: Recorded between 1953 and 1955


Rating: 97/100 (learn more)

Art Tatum recorded this same piece at his first commercial session back in 1933, but this updated performance shows how much he had matured during the intervening two decades. No he doesn't play any faster than he did back in the Great Depression -- he was already at the Einsteinian limits of keyboard speed from his first appearance on the scene. But his rhythmic approach on the later version is much freer, and his harmonic inventions even more inspired. He starts with an out-of-tempo melody statement, but soon is pulling out all his patented tricks -- two-handed acrobatics, heavy stride, bluesy asides, dipsy-doodle runs, and those thick chords that sound like twelve or thirteen fingers are spread out on the keyboard. A very sophisticated lady.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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