Check In w/ the Blue Mirror


Body and Soul: Art Tatum

When we reconcile the song to the solo, we find more confusion in the pianoed versions of B&S than either the vocalized or tenorized. It may be that Hawk's footprint is so large he leaves room for nothing but gravity, but we don't think so. It may just be that the too many piano renditions come at the song with a lightfingered musical approach, which isn't bad initself, but something that leaves at least this lissener wondering where the song's torch went.

One exception to this rule the Art Tatum solo version that he dropped in that legendary two day blast for Norman Granz in the early 50s that produced 8 volumes of the good sh*t.

His take on B&S begins lagging, teasing sadness from the melody. Even as Tatum's imagination takes over the song, he resists the temptation to pep it up, as he does earlier in the disc (we gots no session records at our grasp, so we can't tell whether it really comes first) with his take on "Love for Sale." It's in the second chorus, though, when he proves how subtly he conceives of the song. There he interpolates a sweet passage from "Nobody Knows...," making the bluesy connection from pain to salvation. Which is the song's all about it.

Here you go:

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