One of the greatest improvisers in jazz history, Art Tatum also set the standard for technical dexterity with his classic 1933 recording of "Tea for Two." Nearly blind, Tatum's artistic vision and ability made him an icon of jazz piano, a musician whose impact will be felt for generations to come.
About the Composer:
Arthur Tatum Jr. (October 13, 1909 – November 5, 1956) was an American jazz pianist and virtuoso. The jazz pianist and educator Kenny Barron has commented that "I have every record [Tatum] ever made — and I try never to listen to them … If I did, I'd throw up my hands and give up!" Jean Cocteau dubbed Tatum "a crazed Chopin." Count Basie called him the eighth wonder of the world. Legend has it that classical pianist Vladimir Horowitz was so awed by Tatum's wizardry that it brought him to tears; he also is to have said that it was fortunate for classical pianists that Tatum did not choose to pursue a classical career. In 1993, an MIT student invented a term that is now in common usage in the field of computational musicology: The Tatum. It means "the smallest perceptual time unit in music."