The story goes that Vladimir Horowitz was amazed by Tatum’s playing, and later remarked that he could not believe his eyes and ears. It might all be musical yarn, but Horowitz supposedly kept returning over and over to the jazz clubs “Downbeat” and the “Three Deuces” to hear Art Tatum improvise. Over several months, Horowitz was working on his own arrangement of the jazz classic “Tea for Two,” and he was eager to show Art Tatum his adaptation. Tatum listened carefully, and then sat down at the piano and played his own version of the piece. Amazed by Tatum’s interpretation, Horowitz asked where he could buy a score, to which Tatum supposedly replied, “Oh, I was just improvising.”
Subsequently, Horowitz remarked, “If Art Tatum took up classical music seriously, I’d quit my job the next day.” (x)
Art Tatum by Phil Stern, 1947.
- hahaha da HO wuz genuinely intimidated by da inimitable TATUM zkillz
- hahaha no da HO juz enjoyed hiz zpeed n zkillz but didn’t think da TATUM wuz a tru threat