钢琴手Art Tatum绝对称的上是爵士史上最厉害的钢琴手，即使把他摆到包含古典乐的整个音乐界，愿意选他为「钢琴之王」的人士也肯定不在少数。他可以轻易的靠双手演奏出如同三台钢琴Overdubbing的效果，从散拍到摇摆，Tatum在键盘上的成就迄今无人能逼视，甚至古典钢琴名家Vladimir Horowitz与Arthur Rubinstein都常亲临Tatum演出的夜总会现场观摩。然而，他却是个一眼全盲，另一眼几近全瞎的视障人士。
一系列共八张的The Tatum Group Masterpieces是Tatum於五○年代期间献给制作人Norman Granz 的小编制乐团系列录音纪录，也是他音乐生命里发光发热的倒数阶段，Art Tatum於一九五六年死於尿毒症。
本专辑是系列的最后一辑，距离Tatum离开人世不到两个月；是Tatum的钢琴三重奏与催情萨克斯风圣手Ben Webster的合作，同样以标準曲目为主。听听"My One and Only Love"，钢琴与萨克斯风的二重奏让这首曲子增添了无限延伸的可能；"Night and Day"一曲中Tatum的钢琴音符扑天盖地般袭来，另两位节奏组成员似乎已成多餘.
The final volume in this very worthy series is a comparatively relaxed affair, a quartet set with tenor-saxophonist Ben Webster. Webster lets Tatum fill the background with an infinite number of notes while emphasizing his warm tenor tone in the forefront on a variety of melodic ballads and standards. The combination works very well.
连续几天已经三十几度高温，办公室又只有我一人，不好意思大剌剌的开著冷气，在里面享受。昨天偷听的音乐又是火热的 hard bop，外面已经热的不像话，听的音乐还让我火气上升…所以今天一定要小心谨慎的选片，不能重蹈覆辙。一放 Art Tatum & Ben Webster 合作的 GroupMasterpiece Vol.8，週遭的空气好像一口气降到二十几度。
Tatum 的琴音像是夏夜晚风，即使累了一天，仍然可以悠哉的看著夜空与三五好友畅饮冰凉的啤酒。Webster 的演奏则是刚出炉的精致茶点，入口即化，甜而不腻，带给人通体舒畅的暖意。小弟也没忘记 Red Callender 您老人家，虽然您总是躲到乐团后默默的演奏，可是那天外飞来一笔的贝斯声响端的是支撑起整个音乐的骨架。(原本想多写写 Ben Webster 的演奏，但听到这张唱片，还是难以忽略其他人的存在。小弟在此胡言乱语、文不对题，希望前辈多多包含。)
Tatum played within tight structures, rarely venturing into the wild improvisations that dominated jazz in the second half of the twentieth century. He was also more melodic than many of the artists who would follow him.
His genius lay in his accuracy and timing. At times his playing could be frenetic yet each note is distinguishable from the next. His sound is instantly recognizable by its clarity. He was also a genius at changing chord progressions within the melody of a song. His virtuosity was such that when listening to his recordings, this one included, you will swear there is more than one piano being played.
Art Tatum was primarily a solo artist as the majority of his performances and recorded work featured only his piano. Every once in a while, however, he would assemble a trio or quartet, which brings us to Ben Webster.
Webster was a tenor sax player and contemporary of Tatum. He began his career as a member of The Duke Ellington Orchestra in the mid-thirties and would go on to a stellar career both as a solo artist and as a member of numerous groups until his death in 1972. He was known as a swing artist who fit Tatum’s style perfectly.
Legendary producer and label owner Norman Granz managed to lure Tatum and Webster into the studio together. Backed by Red Callender on bass and Bill Douglass on drums, Tatum and Webster recorded all eight tracks that comprise The Album on September 11, 1956. It would be Tatum’s last recording session as he would pass away not long after its completion.
The first track, “All The Things You Are,” sets the tone as Tatum begins with a solo while exploring the song’s structure and theme. Webster then joins in the exploration with his smoky sax sound. While Tatum tends to dominate, Webster’s sax meanders in, out, and around Tatum’s piano to create a dual sound that constantly splits and reunites.
“Gone With The Wind” finds Tatum literally bending the melody with one hand while playing a number of runs with the other. It is an excellent example of his layering technique and creating a two-piano sound. Webster provides a nice counterpoint in support.
Webster would later say that he considered his performance on “Night and Day” one of the best of his career. He assumes more of a dual lead as the purity of his tone wafts over the melody established by Tatum.
There are four bonus tracks which are very interesting. “Gone With The Wind,” “Have You Met Miss Jones,” “Night and Day,” and “Where Or When” are all repeated, but here they are done so with solo performances by Tatum, allowing the listener to compare both versions.
The Album by Ben Webster and Art Tatum is considered one of the best jazz releases of all time. The two geniuses who created this wonderful work are now sadly slipping from the public consciousness. This reissue should restore the luster of their virtuosity and hopefully their popularity as it remains a testament to two of the most influential American jazz musicians of the twentieth century.
Read more: http://blogcritics.org/music/article/music...sVmgtJOi
01. Gone With the Wind
02. All the Things You Are
03. Have You Met Miss Jones?
04. My One and Only Love
05. Night and Day
06. My Ideal
07. Where or When
08. Gone With the Wind (Alternate Take 1)
09. Gone With the Wind (Alternate Take 2)
10. Have You Met Miss Jones? (Alternate Take)