The ART of Jazz: Art Tatum and Art Blakey


Classical Academy| On This Day... | Jazz & Blues

 

October was a good month for Jazz, being the birthdays of two great jazz musicians who can teach us a lot about the 'Art' of Jazz.

 

Art Tatum, born October 13, 1909 was one of the twentieth centuries greatest jazz pianists. A real virtuoso, recordings of him performing continue to amaze listeners today, with their incredibly fast and nimble fingerwork and endlessyly creative improvisation. This is even more amazing given that he was almost blind since birth.

 

Art Blakey, born a decade later on October 11, 1919 was a jazz drummer and one of the creators of the modern style of bebop. Mixing elements of blues and hard bop, he created a unique and easy style of jazz together with other jazz musicians like Max Roach. His band "Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers" was a hothouse for young jazz musicians for over thirty years, and many famous names had their first experience performing with this band.

 

This fantastic album of live performances by Art Tatum is the perfect introduction to his phenomenal artistry and musicianship. Two of our favourites are "On the Sunny Side of the Street" and his take on the famous tune "Someone to watch over me".