Those who were closest to Art Tatum during his life shared one secret with the great jazz pianist--the knowledge that he played best in the "After Hours" before friends and fellow musicians at informal get-togethers. "Not just anyone could get to hear Tatum at his best," wrote Orrin Keepnews in The Jazz Makers. "It is generally accepted ... that his most formidable playing was displayed only in circumstances and before audiences largely of his own choosing. After hours a man played strictly as he pleased (when you're not being paid for your services, there are, after all, certain privileges you can expect). He played as long and as late as he pleased ... And the after-hours that Tatum really came to life."
This is the way it was on that evening in Hollywood in 1956 at a private house party where Tatum was present as a guest. As the evening wore on, and after several other guests had performed informally, Tatum was asked if he would like to play. Art was obviously feeling relaxed and ready to play, for when he was not ready or felt that he was being pushed he could be extremely unaccommodating when such a request was made. But on this night he sat down willingly at the piano and played for hours with obvious relish and pleasure. Here was Tatum playing for a group of friends, playing whatever he pleased, playing as long as he pleased--this was the completely spontaneous, untrammeled, magnificently creative Tatum who could never be caught in a recording studio.
He sat at the piano that night swinging through his enormous repertoire of tunes, reaching back to songs he had recorded early in his career, adding new dimensions to others which remained an active part of his programming throughout his life. His playing, with its richly elaborate fill-ins, its sweeping runs it's changes of tempo and key and its constant intensely swinging rhythm, made him as his protege, Dr. Billy Taylor, has said, "a whole band, complete in himself".
Tatum's creative genius was at white heat as he played through that California evening. We know that this was so because the host, a musical director at one of the Hollywood studios, had almost as much recording equipment at home as he had at the studio. And, unknown to Tatum, his host made a superb high fidelity tape of the entire performance. Afterwards he told Tatum what he had done and asked if the pianist had any objections. Tatum, flushed with the pleasures of his playing, said that he didn't mind at all.
Audio only $15.00 each+ $4.00 p/h
Audio + .pdf files $95.00 each
Audio + midi files $95.00 each
Tatum Midifide Vol. I
After Youv'e Gone, Aint Mis-Behaving, Aint Mis-Behaving *, All The Things You Are, Aunt Hagar's Blues, Blue Moon, Blues In Bb, Blue Skies, Body And Soul, Body And Soul *, Caravan, Carnegie Hall Blues, China Boy, Cherokee, Cocktails For Two, Don't Blame Me, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, Emaline, Fine And Dandy, Fine And Dandy (Orch), Gang O' Nothing, I Got It Bad And That Aint Good, Honeysuckle Rose, Hot Lips, How Am I To Know
* Alternate Take
Tatum Midifide Vol. II
Humoresque, If I Had You, I Got Rhthym, Back Home Again In Indiana, Back Home Again In Indiana o, Jada, Jitterbug Waltz, Jumpin' For Sumpin', Just You Just Me, Just You Just Me o, Live Jive, You Better Love Me, Lullaby In Rhythm, The Man I Love, The Man I Love *, I'm In The Mood For Love, I'm In The Mood For Love o, How High The Moon, It Had To Be Moonglow, The Moon Is Low, I'll Never Be The Same, Night Scene, Pagan Love Call, Pagan Love Call o, Over The Rainbow, Royal Garden Blues, Running Wild, Running Wild o, In A Sentimental Mood, Should I, What Can I Say Dear After I Say I'm Sorry, St Louis Blues
* = Alternate Takes o = Orchestrated
Art Tatum Midifide Vol. III
Stompin' At The Savoy, Stormy Weather, Sunday, At Sundown, At Sundown - o, I Surrender Dear, Swanee River, Swanee River - o, Sweet And Lovely, Sweet And Lovely - o, Sweet Lorraine, Sweet Lorraine *1, Sweet Lorraine *2, Sweet Lorraine 2 - o, Sweet Lorraine *3, Good Night Sweetheart, Good Night Sweetheart - o, Tea For Two, Tenderly, Hold That Tiger, I'm Coming Virginia, Wabash Blues, Wabash Blues - o, Wang Wang Blues, Stormy Weather, When I Grow Too Old To Dream, Willow Weep For Me, Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams, Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams - o
* = Alternate Takes o = Orchestrated
All of the TATUM selections are available as midi, audio, .pdf files and/or print outs. (Many are unpublished)