Art Tatum – Yesterdays

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Pianist extraordinaire Art Tatum performs “Yesterdays” composed by Jerome David Kern and Otto Harbach.

Art Tatum was a jazz pianist and virtuoso who was nearly blind. He is acknowledged by many to be one of the greatest pianists of all time, revolutionizing the role piano played in jazz. Tatum drew upon stride piano to build up a style uniquely his own, playing with swinging pulse and futuristic improvisational abilities. His approach to jazz music completely changed the way piano was played: He reharmonized melodies by altering the underlying chord structure, used innovative chord extensions, and dissonance to his benefit. All of these were characteristics of bebop music, happening some 10 years before the first bebop records were even made. He was noted also for having exquisite technique, to a point where he was able to play some of the most difficult passages at high velocity, and still present the illusion that he was hardly moving his hands. (15 Most Influential Jazz Artists – http://listverse.com/2010/02/27/15-most-influential-jazz-artists/)

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