catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

Midweek YouTube

with 4 comments

Here is a YouTube to celebrate Catallaxy’s moving to a new server, but that’s just an excuse. Below the fold you’ll see some very rare footage (only 1 minute 59 seconds) of a very fast piano solo by the jazz prodigy Art Tatum. It really has to be seen to be believed. The tune is ‘Yesterdays’. Here is some fascinating background about him:

    Tatum was born in Toledo, Ohio. From birth he suffered from cataracts which left him blind in one eye, and with only very limited vision in the other. He played piano from his youth, and played professionally in Ohio and especially the Cleveland area before moving to New York City in 1932.
    Tatum drew inspiration from his contemporaries James P. Johnson and Fats Waller, and had a great influence on later jazz pianists, such as Thelonious Monk, Chick Corea, and Oscar Peterson.
    Unusually for a jazz musician, Tatum rarely abandoned the original melodic lines of the songs he played, preferring instead to feature innovative reharmonization (changing the chord progressions supporting the melodies). He also had a penchant for filling spaces within melodies with trademark runs and embellishments, which some critics considered gratuitous and “unjazzlike,” while his fans regarded the pyrotechnics as exciting and vital to his music. Tatum also displayed harmonic ideas that were well ahead of their time in the 1930’s and would be emulated by Bebop era musicians ten to twenty years later.
    Tatum tended to record unaccompanied, partly because relatively few musicians could keep up with his lightning-fast tempos and advanced harmonic vocabulary.


Written by Admin

November 22, 2006 at 9:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. Jason, can’t you put some comedy YouTube’s up?

    It’s always this trendy music.


    November 22, 2006 at 9:38 pm

  2. whaddaya talkin’ about?
    I just put up that Horat vs Borat youtube a few days ago

    Jason Soon

    November 22, 2006 at 9:40 pm

  3. And Darlene, when Jason was indisposed, I stuck up some heavy metal. We’re a pretty broad church round here.


    November 22, 2006 at 10:14 pm

  4. That’s true, Jason. Apologies.

    How about a bit of Aussie humour.

    I note that Tim Minchin was on the Spicks and Specks special last night.

    Heavy metal…strewth. Jason would be a headbanger, no worries. He’s one of those bloke bloggers.


    November 23, 2006 at 2:32 pm

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