Art Tatum Classics

First, Art Tatum with Slam Stewart and Tiny Grimes in 1943 perform “Tiny’s Exercise”.  Then “Art’s Blues” from the 1947 film “The Fabulous Dorseys”. It’s Art Tatum plus Tommy Dorsey (TB), Jimmy Dorsey (C), Charlie Barnet (TS), Ray Bauduc (D) and Ziggy Elman (T).

Here is Art Tatum in 1954 with “Yesterdays”, as only he can play it.  Although legally blind, like so many great musicians, the purported handicap seemed to open a little wider window to his soul.

Emily – Bill Evans

“Emily” was composed by Johnny Mandel, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer, as the title song for the 1964 film The Americanization of Emily. (The song wasn’t sung in the movie, which is the reason that it couldn’t be nominated for an Academy Award.) It has since been recorded by numerous artists, notably Bill Evans and Tony Bennett.  “Emily” became particularly associated with Bill Evans, who recorded it for the first time for his 1967 album Further Conversations with Myself. Here’s a bit of Evans genius with Bill on piano, Eddie Gomez on bass, and Marty Morell playing drums.

The Summer – Salut Salon

Competitive Foursome

While this is technically chamber music, they do blow some jazz … and anyone who has even a glimmer of musical savvy will appreciate their performance.  The Salut Salon Quartet, from Hamburg Germany, is comprised of Angelika Bachmann (violin), Iris Siegfried (violin), Anne-Monika von Twardowski (piano) and Sonja Lena Schmid (cello). They have been called “the Harlem Globetrotters of string quartets.”  Here, “The Summer” composed by Antonio Vivaldi, becomes the stage for a musical competition with a special sense of humor and musical dexterity!  

Evidence – Joey Alexander

I told you that piano prodigy Joey Alexander would be back.  Here he performs Thelonious Monk’s “Evidence” live at the Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center … from his album ‘Joey.Monk.Live!’.  What Joey may lack in experience at 15, he more than makes up for with instinct.  Got genes?

Epistrophy – Thelonious Monk

This is Thelonious Monk in Japan in 1963,  playing with the kind of group that suited him best … a quartet. Charlie Rouse is the saxophonist who understood Monk’s music best and provided the perfect complement.

It Might As Well Be Spring – Erroll Garner

From the 1945 movie “State Fair,”  It Might As Well Be Spring was written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. It’s a tune that has been covered by many of the greatest singers through the years, but when it comes to instrumental treatments, Erroll Garner demonstrates the reason the piano was invented!

Summertime – Sir Roland Hanna / Bob Brookmeyer

To celebrate the arrival of summer, here are not one but two unique treatments of the Gershwin classic.  Summertime was originally an aria composed by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. The lyrics are by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin. Through the years, the song has became a truly solid jazz standard.

Summertime

by Sir Roland Hanna | Quartet Plays Gershwin

Summertime

by Bob Brookmeyer | Out Of This World

Countdown – Joey Alexander

Joey Alexander must be experienced.  Words don’t do it.  He is a 13 year old from Indonesia, who taught himself to play the piano at age 6 by listening to his dad’s jazz records.  The word ‘prodigy’ isn’t really strong enough … he plays, composes, and can take apart and reassemble a song on the fly, on the spot!  He’s a bit of Bill Evans, a smattering of Chick Corea and a whole lot of Joey.  This is an in-studio performance of the title track from his latest album, together with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr.  Fasten your seatbelt, and plan to see many more postings of this astonishing young jazz musician here on Mark Of Jazz!

C-A-G – Billy Taylor

An original Billy Taylor composition, recorded in 2001 with Billy on piano, Chip Jackson on bass, and Steve Johns on drums.  The tune was written to show what can be done using only the title chord and its three basic notes C, A and G, masterfully manipulated throughout the song.