Art Tatum was an enigma. Partially sighted, largely self-taught, yet one of the most technically accomplished piano players of the 20th Century (admired by classical composers and pianists as well by jazz audiences), he was not universally embraced by the jazz fraternity, some critics considering him too clever by half to be a real jazzman! On the other hand, fellow jazz pianist Teddy Wilson said of him, ""You get all the finest jazz pianists in the world and let them play in the presence of Tatum. Then let Tatum play. Everyone (else) there will sound like an amateur"". Such was Tatum's unrivalled dexterity and polyrhythmic inventiveness, the majority of his recordings during his 1932-1951 prime years covered by this 99-track, 4-CD set were unaccompanied solo performances, each a unique display of virtuosity without need of further embellishment. But he also recorded with a small band fronted by blues shouter Big Joe Turner, with an all-star line-up of jazz greats at a Metropolitan Opera House concert, and as the Art Tatum Trio with his regular club date accompanists, Tiny Grimes (guitar) and Slam Stewart (bass), all included here. This is the definitive anthology of an artistic genius.
Disc 11. Tiger Rag 1:57
Disc 21. Oh, You Crazy Moon 2:24
Disc 31. My Ideal 3:20
Disc 41. Goin' Home 3:06