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Art Tatum
Please vote to return to collections (Voting Results will appear on Right Sidebar).
    (October 13, 1909-November 5, 1956)
    Born in Toledo, Ohio
    Jazz pianist known for radically reinventing pop standards
    Signature tunes include 'Tea for Two' and 'Tiger Rag'
    Some critics felt his playing was too ornamental, showing off his technique at the expense of the song.
    In group settings, he would refuse to defer to other musicians and complained 'A band hampers me.'
    Another musician said that he could drink an entire pitcher of beer 'down the hatch in three or four stupendous swallows.'
    He drank a case of beer and two quarts of whiskey a day, contributing to his early death from kidney failure.
    He developed cataracts as a child, limiting his vision.
    He was struck with a blackjack while being mugged, leaving him blind in his left eye (1930).
    He had perfect pitch.
    His playing was so energetic, his records often sound like there's a second pianist.
    Fats Waller introduced him by saying, 'I only play piano, but tonight God is in the house.'
    Other admirers included Charlie Parker ('I wish I could play like Tatum's right hand'), Dave Brubeck ('I don't think there's any more chance of another Tatum showing up than another Mozart') and Dizzy Gillespie ('First you speak of Art Tatum, then take a long deep breath, and you speak of the other pianists').

Credit: C. Fishel

    In 2018, Out of 55 Votes: 60.0% Annoying
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