Each month Peter Batten recommends a recording that jazz fans may wish to add to their personal library.
Art Tatum, Red Callender, Jo Jones
My recommendation this month is a recent addition to my collection. I did own the vinyl version of this album for several years, but did not replace it when I sold my vinyl. What a mistake that was! This is one of the finest albums of piano jazz ever recorded.
In the mid-1950s Norman Granz provided a wonderful series of recordings for those fans who might wish to hear the great musicians who emerged in the 1930s beautifully recorded and still playing at their best. At the heart of this project he placed Art Tatum. I believe Norman really loved these musicians: Ben Webster, Benny Carter, Roy Eldridge, Buddy de Franco, Lionel Hampton, Harry Edison. (He recorded Coleman Hawkins with Oscar Peterson because he was aware of their mutual admiration – the results were superb.) To complete the collection he recorded Art with this very special trio. Red Callender is on bass, as he was for several of the albums, and Jo Jones, a star of the original Basie band, is on drums.
My CD has the excellent original sleeve note by the late Benny Green, who really understood this music. I will simply add that drummers should listen to the outstanding brushwork of Jo Jones.
[ “Art Tatum, Red Callender, Jo Jones” is on Pablo CD 2310 735]