Art Tatum: I Cover the Waterfront


I Cover the Waterfront


Art Tatum (piano)


The Complete Capitol Recordings of Art Tatum (Capitol 7243 8 21325 2 3)

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Art Tatum (piano).

Composed by Johnny Green & Edward Heyman


Recorded: Los Angeles, July 13 & 25, 1949


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

Art Tatum covers the whole keyboard, as well as the waterfront, on this bravura ballad. The late 1940s were a fertile period for Tatum. He was at the peak of his abilities and had a seemingly endless variety of piano tricks up his sleeves. He follows his usual formula here, playing the opening chorus out of tempo, then slipping into a steady stride at the midpoint of his journey. But even if his approach is tried and true, the song never gets boring when Tatum is running the show. I especially like the harmonic games he plays here, with passing chords and substitute changes to beat the band. Well, there was no band to beat, since the band beat it when they saw Tatum walk into the studio. But Tatum alone is band enough for me any day.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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