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Art Tatum: Live 1951 Volume 5

Oscar Peterson once told me that when he was playing in Toronto many years ago, head bent over the keyboard, he happened to look up just as Art Tatum entered the club. “When Art walked in,” Oscar recalled, “I walked off. I couldn’t play in front of my god.”

This latest release by Storyville-number five in its projected eight volumes of Art Tatum Live, all including previously unissued material-is divided between New York and Washington, D.C. All the D.C. dates are solo; some of the New York tracks include guitarist Everett Barksdale and bassist Slam Stewart, and they were recorded at the Embers, which in ’51-the year of this recording-was a new club. Willis Conover suddenly materializes to interview Tatum for the D.C. segment, and in New York it’s Leonard Feather’s turn.

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