The Legendary 1955 Session
Art Tatum (p), Harry Edison (tp), Lionel Hampton (vib), Barney Kessel (g), Red Callender (b) & Buddy Rich (d).
Colaborations: Harry Edison, Lionel Hampton, Barney Kessel, Buddy Rich
This CD edition includes the complete album with alternate takes + bonus tracks. Tatum's magic complemented by the skills of Harry Edison, Lionel Hampton, Barney Kessel, Red Callender & Buddy Rich.
01. Verve Blues
02. What Is This Thing Called Love?
04. Somebody Loves Me
05. September Song
06. Deep Purple
07. September Song (78rpm Version)
08. What Is This Thing Called Love? (Alternate Version)
09. What Is This Thing Called Love? * (Trio Version)
10. Trio Blues *
11. September Song * (Trio Version).
Total Time: 76:00 min.
Tracks #1-8 recorded in Los Angeles, California, on September 7, 1955
* Bonus Tracks:
#9: Art Tatum (p), Lionel Hampton (vib), Buddy Rich (d).
Recorded in Los Angeles, California, August 1, 1955.
#10: Art Tatum (p), Red Callender (b), Jo Jones (d).
Recorded in Los Angeles, California, January 26, 1956.
#11: Art Tatum (p), Everett Barksdale (g), Slam Stewart (b).
Recorded in New York, December 20, 1952.
"Improbable as it may sound, the sextet was one of the largest groups that Art Tatum ever worked with; it may even be the largest for Tatum, who worked for most of his life with no accompaniment at all, towards the end showed a marked preference for a trio, but rarely ever appeared as one of six. The reasons are easy enough to surmise. Tatum, being a colossus, needed as much room as possible in which to operate, and the more other soloists there were to take solo time and to demand of Tatum the duties of an accompanist, the more Tatum must have felt like a thoroughbred on a light rein. For Tatum, when he worked with other musicians, would sometimes temper his genius with a little tact, for the sake of the cohesion of the performance as well as in deference to the egos of the other musicians involved. Now the listener never cared anything for all this.
Of the supporting musicians, the one with the longest list of battle honors was the founder of the vibes. Lionel Hampton, a musician who, having worked with both Armstrong and Tatum without exhibiting even a flicker of inhibition or loss of nerve, may therefore be said to have done and see everything there was to do and see. Harry Edison, who plays trumpet with Tatum, spent many years in the Basie band, where he perfected a personal manner which consists of paring down the content of every solo to the practical minimum. The rhythm players include Barney Kessel, who was one of the very first musicians to become associated with "Jazz at the Philharmonic", and the Granz recording labels. The drummer, Buddy Rich, is in his own way as remarkable a technical wizard as Tatum himself, although on the Tatum sides the demand for wizardry was limited. Instead Rich laid down a strong, solid beat, assisted by the bass playing of Red Callender."
-Benny Green (From the original liner notes)