1. Art Tatum is one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time
    He was known mostly for his improvisational skills, his speed, and his dexterity
  2. He was born with perfect pitch, and was mostly a self-taught musician
    Although he had some training at the Toledo school of music, he mainly learned by listening to records and trying to emulate them
  3. His musical idols were James P Johnson, Fats Waller, and Earl Hines
    They were the kings of the "stride" style of playing, meaning the left hand does the oom-pah oom-pah rhythm for the majority of the song
  4. He elevated stride to a whole new level
    Tatum introduced free-flowing improvisation, with melodic lines that ran up and down the keyboard at lightning speed
  5. He introduced swing rhythms to stride
    And was famous for bringing virtuosity and melody to the left hand
  6. For example, the original version of "Begin the Beguine" sounds like this:
  7. This is Art Tatum's version:
  8. Amazing, no?
  9. His technique was unparalleled at the time
    There's an urban legend that when he was learning how to play, he listened to a record of a few guys playing the keyboard. He thought it was one guy, and learned how to play all the parts with just his two hands. This story probably isn't true, but it sure sounds like it is.
  10. Listen to his other famous recordings like "Tea for Two" and "Tiger Rag"
  11. My personal favorite is his recording of "What is this thing called love"
  12. Also this one too:
  13. Enjoy 🎶