Teddy Wilson and Art Tatum each take a solo piano turn on I’ll See You in My Dreams

Thanks to gullivior for the You Tube

Teddy Wilson recorded his version of I’ll See You In My Dreams in 1938 and Art Tatum recorded his in 1953.  These are also two very different concepts of jazz piano playing.  Although Teddy Wilson is playing solo here, most of his fame was ensemble playing with small groups such as his years with Benny Goodman.  He did a great job in that role, blending himself with the other musicians and yet still standing out.  He was also great in recording sessions with Billie Holiday.  You can hear some of that here, simple but deadly.

Art Tatum  was a different piano player.  Although he sometimes played in trios with bass and guitar, and a few times with larger groups with horns, his real legacy was in the solo performances he made live and on record.   Accomplished Classical pianists such as Vladimir Horowitz would come to night clubs to hear him play.  Art Tatum would, in effect,  play impromptu sonatas based on Tin Pan Alley songs with staggering runs and other worldly chord harmonies.  Horowitz said he was thankful that Tatum chose Jazz rather than classical music.  There will never be another Art Tatum.

About Richard Rollo

I am a retired Community College Instructor. I taught Political Science 1 American Government for 22 years in Southern California. I am originally from Northern Minnesota. My earliest years were spent in the living quarters of a rural Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific Railway Depot. Then my family joined the great 1950's migration to Southern California where I joined up with fellow baby boomers in overcrowded schools.
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