Talk:Art Tatum

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Tatum Emulators[edit]

From The Article...

"Unlike jazz greats Louie Armstrong or Miles Davis or John Coltrane, each of whom spawned a school of devotees emulating the master, there emerged no school of Tatum clones -- perhaps because his playing was so difficult to copy. As a result, while very influential in the jazz world, Tatum is practically unknown to the general public today."

Thought it might be good to mention the few Tatum emulators...

ie. Johnny Costa and Oscar Peterson —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bizrat (talkcontribs) 16:41, 11 April 2007 (UTC).

You are correct about Tatum emulators. Even though Oscar developed his own style, he owes a large debt to Tatum. Kolef 4/11/07

Tried to introduce a concept regarding the extent of Tatum influence, which was removed by another, who thought it "Useless". Rather than engage in an editing war, I will quote it here. It was this: "Mainstream jazz piano has gone in a different direction from that pioneered by Tatum, owing partly to the virtuosity of his style, and the innovations of pianists like Thelonius Monk, McCoy Tyner and Bill Evans have been more influential on the contemporary state of the art." Kolef 6/27/17 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.70.93.157 (talk) 14:12, 27 June 2017 (UTC)

Which is an opinion. Just as saying "Art Tatum is the greatest jazz pianist of all time" is an opinion, regardless of how many critics have said it. And how many have said it? The lede mentions a poll of critics. Who are they? IF YOU FOLLOW THE FOOTNOTE YOU WILL FIND OUT. I don't know those people. I don't know what their criteria are. I do know an opinion when I see one, and I know that encyclopedias have nothing to do with opinions. Encyclopedias are about facts. Even taking into account that Wikipedia is an unusual encyclopedia, you can find still plenty of documentation all over this site that say what I have just said.
Who Tatum has influenced or whether he has influenced anyone is an opinion. Moreover, if you really wanted to describe Art Tatum's influence, say you were writing a book or magazine article, someplace where opinion is the standard, then you would still need to do better than one sentence, which is all you've written. Even in a book or magazine article the statement "Mainstream jazz piano has gone in a different direction" is not the end of a discussion. It's the beginning. It's a claim that has be defended and analyzed. It's an assertion, not an argument. "Mainstream jazz piano has gone in a different direction" is an opinion. BUT WIKI HAS GROWN NOT BECAUSE PEOPLE HAVE CONTRIBUTED COMPLETE DISCUSSIONS OF SUBJECTS, BUT BECAUSE SOMEONE BEGINS A DISCUSSION AND OTHERS ADD TO IT.
The word "virtuosity" is an opinion. It probably falls under the category of what Wikipedia calls "peacock" terms and "puffery." There is no objective criterion for what constitutes virtuosity. IF YOU READ THE ACCLAIM SECTION AND THINK ABOUT THE MANY LUMINARIES WHO LAVISHED THEIR HIGHEST PRAISE ON TATUM, THEN YOU WILL REALIZE THIS IS THE CONSENSUS OF THE MOST GIFTED MUSICIANS, AND NOT THE WORDS OF A LONE BLOGGER SPEWING BASELESS OPINIONS ON THE INTERNET. BUT I SUPPOSE GIFTED IS AN OPINION TOO. My dictionary says that a virtuoso is "a person highly skilled in music or another artistic pursuit." That covers a lot of ground. That could almost be anyone because "highly skilled" is at least partially subjective and so is "artistic pursuit." What constitutes an artistic pursuit? Jazz piano? Classical piano? Chico Marx at the piano? Beat-boxing? Rapping? Acting? Carpentry? Laying down marble tile? YOUR ATTEMPT TO DEFINE VIRTUOSO AS A MEANINGLESS TERM IS LAME.
There is always someone out there sitting at Starbucks staring at their iphone who wants to write about their favorite musician, celebrity, or politician as if that person were the greatest person in the world, the smartest, the most talented, the most skilled, the most beautiful, and the kindest to animals. That kind of writing doesn't belong here. Remember that the next time you make a sarcastic comment threatening an edit war.
Vmavanti (talk) 16:15, 27 June 2017 (UTC) REMEMBER YOUR OWN SARCASTIC COMMENTS.
Why do you call Oscar Peterson "Oscar"? Did you know him? I see this all over the web site, casually using the informal first name as though the person in the entry were your best friend. Encyclopedias are formal and businesslike. Even Wikipedia.
Vmavanti (talk) 17:50, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
Vmavanti, your tirade above (WHICH HAS LOTS OF SHOUTING IN IT) is bordering on a personal attack of this hapless IP editor. And I would take issue with your assertion that "encyclopedias have nothing to do with opinions. Encyclopedias are about facts." Surely in articles about all the arts, including History, Politics and Philosophy, even Economics, the opinions of experts are highly valued? If there is material in reliable sources, we can included it, in a balanced way. And what's your problem with Starbucks exactly? Martinevans123 (talk) 20:29, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
I didn't write the parts in caps. That came from 98.244.137.109. I'll read my post again to see if that person changed anything else.
Vmavanti (talk) 20:37, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
Oh, I see. Then I can understand your growing level of exasperation. This IP editor is starting to look not a little disruptive. Maybe you should open an RfC or even request article protection if it goes on. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:49, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

To 98.244.137.109: If you want to post to this page, please write below the previous post, not in the middle of the previous post.

Mr Evans, you're right. WP policy says it's OK to quote opinions. You can say "Art Tatum is the greatest pianist" if that assertion if sourced properly.

I have nothing against Starbucks.
Vmavanti (talk) 20:37, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

Martinevans123, I will be glad to respond below rather than within a prior post. Did not know that was against Wiki policy, and the caps were not intended as "shouting", only as a very efficient typographical means of responding and distinguishing the writings of different authors. It seems a little over the top to call that "disruptive". — Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.70.93.157 (talk) 02:15, 6 July 2017 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Art Tatum/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

This article should be rated high importance because Tatum was one of the greatest musicians of our time. ````Kolef88````

Last edited at 02:09, 8 July 2009 (UTC). Substituted at 08:18, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

Lede[edit]

"He was hailed for the technical proficiency of his performances". Every good musician is praised for that. Every good carpenter is praised for that. Even bad musicians get praised for it. Therefore talking about "technical proficiency" is meaningless because it doesn't distinguish Art Tatum from anyone else.

So what does? What facts distinguish Art Tatum? A five-second Google search tells me. He was born in Toledo, Ohio. Not exactly a hipster haven. Not New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Kansas City, or San Francisco. Toledo, Ohio. In 1909. What's so special about that? Well, it was a long time ago. What was America like in 1909? What was music like? What was jazz like? Did people listen to it? Did albums exist? Did they have internet access? I've read some Wikipedia entries where the birth date is missing or wrong. After what I just wrote, do you see how important a birth date can be?

A web site tells me that he was legally blind. Why isn't that in the lede? By the age of four he was nearly blind. At the Toledo School of Music he wore glasses to read music. He also used Braille. How many jazz pianists learned music by Braille? He was partially self-taught. He learned from piano rolls. What's a piano roll? Ever see one? Ever try to learn music from it? In fact, Tatum was never satisfied with his technical proficiency.

Aren't those facts more important and more interesting than "He was the greatest pianist of all time" or "He was hailed for the technical proficiency of his performances".
Vmavanti (talk) 17:46, 27 June 2017 (UTC)

Response to Vmavanti: What distinguishes Art Tatum? He was more technically proficient than any other jazz pianist of his time or since. Not meaningless. Not a carpenter. So Toledo is not a hipster haven, therefore what? Is it really the job of a piece about Tatum to describe America circa 1909? A little off-point don't you think? Jazz was barely born in 1909. It was just evolving from ragtime and blues and other forms. Why are you asking if people had internet access in 1909? What is your point? The article describes his blindness. Why should that be in the lede? Is that your opinion? What's a piano roll, you say? The term is linked to an article on piano rolls. What more do you want? You learn from a piano roll the same way you learn from a record or an mp3 or a radio broadcast or a performance: you listen to it. Are you serious? You seem pedagogical. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.70.93.157 (talk) 02:16, 8 July 2017 (UTC)

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