Art Tatum: I Got Rhythm


I Got Rhythm


Art Tatum Trio


I Got Rhythm: Art Tatum, Vol. 3 (1935-1944) (GRP GRD-630)

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Art Tatum (piano), Tiny Grimes (guitar), Slam Stewart (bass).

Composed by George & Ira Gershwin


Recorded: World Jam Session transcriptions, New York, January 5, 1944


Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

Jazzmen have recorded "I Got Rhythm" >600 times, and based so many of their own tunes on its chord progressions that "rhythm changes" are second in familiarity only to the blues. But for sheer virtuosity, this 1944 piano/guitar/bass trio recording stands out from the crowd. Showing off both his hyperkinetic right hand and stride-style left hand in alternating flashes of brilliance, Tatum also swings mightily—a quality sometimes left at the starting gate in his never-ending race to bedazzle us with technique. Given accompanists not in his league (who was?), Tatum turns "I Got Rhythm" into a frenetically ornamented set piece, demonstrating that jazz doesn't have to be spontaneous to be historic.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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