Saturday, October 13, 2007

October 13: Art Tatum (1909-1956)

Piano genius and jazz legend Art Tatum was born on this date in 1909, in Toledo, Ohio. He had limited vision from congenital cataracts, and lost much of his remaining sight when he was assaulted at age 20. Tatum was a child prodigy, teaching himself to play by attending to his mother's player piano rolls. By six, he was playing duets alone--that is, he was playing with two small hands what was originally written for four adult hands. Into adulthood, he developed an original and influential style that was widely admired (and still is). But writing about music, you know... just listen: