Art Tatum, The Best Of The Pablo Group Masterpieces

Fred Kaplan

By Fred Kaplan

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A dizzying soloist in a mellow mood.

Art Tatum's solo work can be dizzying; you need a break from it, so much is going on. In his work with groups, he took a more measured pace (who could keep up with him?), and his sessions on this album — featuring a quintet with Ben Webster on tenor sax — are the best of the lot. Webster was a master of melody. He blew ballads with a vibrato at once husky, warm and sensuous, and the interplay with the headier, even cerebral Tatum is riveting.