Art Tatum Centennial Celebration

Art Tatum Centennial Celebration

Arguably the greatest virtuoso of jazz piano, Art Tatum makes so much music the instrument seems barely able to contain his multidimensional creativity. His impeccable technique, with crisp articulation of even breakneck 64th notes, allows him to "sing" lyrically where lesser mortals would be content to let their fingers hold on through mechanical muscle memory. "It's Only a Paper Moon," with its staggering changes of phrasing, rhythm, tempo and feel, compacts a dizzying array of approaches into its scant, nearly three-minute run time. Joined by trumpeter Roy Eldridge on Ellington's classic "In a Sentimental Mood," Mr. T's rippling, cross handed lines simply boggle the mind. "Just One of Those Things" bounces along beautifully, with ping-ponging vibes by Lionel Hampton. Whether you like the big-bellied tenor of Ben Webster, the warm, woody clarinet of Buddy DeFranco, or the maestro solo, this 12-tune CD offers a diverse, carefully selected collection of Tatum tunes. And rewards repeat listens. (Concord)