Talk:Art Tatum

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The following tidbits were deleted from the article because of poor sourcing or perceptions of "cheerleading" or duplication or unencyclopedic quality, but are published here in Talk for posterity and the curious:

Critic Scott Yanow wrote, "Tatum's quick reflexes and boundless imagination kept his improvisations filled with fresh (and sometimes futuristic) ideas that put him way ahead of his contemporaries ... Art Tatum's recordings still have the ability to scare modern pianists."

Count Basie called him the eighth wonder of the world. Dave Brubeck observed, "I don't think there's any more chance of another Tatum turning up than another Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart." From the liner notes to Capitol CDP 7 92866 2. Dizzy Gillespie said, "First you speak of Art Tatum, then take a long deep breath, and you speak of the other pianists." Lester,Too Marvelous for Words.

"Jazz historian and commentator Ira Gitler declared that Tatum's "left hand was the equal of his right."[1] When Bud Powell was opening for Tatum at Birdland around 1950, the end of an era when musicians engaged in overt competition and so-called cutting sessions,[2] Powell reportedly said to Tatum, "Man, I'm going to really show you about tempo and playing fast. Anytime you're ready." Tatum laughed and replied, "Look, you come in here tomorrow, and anything you do with your right hand, I'll do with my left." Powell never took up the challenge.[3]"

"Charlie Parker (who helped develop bebop) was highly influenced by Tatum. When newly arrived in New York, Parker briefly worked as a dishwasher in a Manhattan restaurant where Tatum was performing and often listened to the pianist. Parker once said, "I wish I could play like Tatum's right hand!"[4]"

"When Oscar Peterson was still a boy, his father played him a recording of Tatum performing "Tiger Rag". Once the young Peterson was finally persuaded that it was performed by a single person, he was so intimidated that he did not touch the piano for weeks.[5] Peterson also stated that, "If you speak of pianists, the most complete pianist that we have known and possibly will know, from what I've heard to date, is Art Tatum."[6] "Musically speaking, he was and is my musical God, and I feel honored to remain one of his humbly devoted disciples."[7]"

"Here's something new..." pianist Hank Jones remembers thinking when he first heard Art Tatum on radio in 1935, "they have devised this trick to make people believe that one man is playing the piano, when I know at least three people are playing."[8]"

"The pianist Teddy Wilson observed, "Maybe this will explain Art Tatum. If you put a piano in a room, just a bare piano. Then you get all the finest jazz pianists in the world and let them play in the presence of Art Tatum. Then let Art Tatum play ... everyone there will sound like an amateur."[9]"

"Jazz critic Leonard Feather called Tatum "the greatest soloist in jazz history, regardless of instrument."[9]"

Fats Waller recalled the showdown: 'That Tatum, he was just too good... He had too much technique. When that man turns on the powerhouse, don't no one play him down. He sounds like a brass band.'Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page).When jazz pianist Stanley Cowell was growing up in Toledo, his father prevailed upon Tatum to play piano at the Cowell home. Stanley described the scene as, "Tatum played so brilliantly and so much ... that I thought the piano was gonna break. My mother left the room ... so I said 'What's wrong, Mama?' And she said 'Oh, that man plays too much piano.'"[38] A handful of critics, notably Keith Jarrett, have complained that Tatum played too many notes[39] or was too ornamental or was even 'unjazzlike'. Jazz critic Gary Giddins opined, "That is the essence of Tatum. If you don't like his ornament, you should be listening to someone else. That's where his genius is."[40] If you don't like his ornament, you should be listening to someone else. That's where his genius is.[10]

Generally playing at mezzoforte volume, Tatum employed the entire keyboard from deep bass tones to sonorous mid-register chords to sparkling upper register runs. He used the sustain pedal sparingly so that each note was clearly articulated, chords were cleanly sounded and the melodic line would not be blurred.[11][better source needed]

Using self-taught fingering, including an array of two-fingered runs, he executed the pyrotechnics with meticulous accuracy and timing. Tatum also displayed phenomenal independence of the hands and ambidexterity, which was particularly evident while improvising counterpoint.[citation needed] He also used his thumbs and little fingers to add melody lines while playing something else with his other fingers.[12]

A major event in his meteoric rise to success was his appearance at a cutting contest in 1933 at Morgan's bar in New York City that included Waller, Johnson and Willie "The Lion" Smith. Standard contest pieces included Johnson's "Harlem Strut" and "Carolina Shout", and Waller's "Handful of Keys". Tatum performed his arrangements of "Tea for Two" and "Tiger Rag", in a performance that was considered to be the last word in stride piano. Johnson, reminiscing about Tatum's debut afterward, simply said, "When Tatum played Tea For Two that night I guess that was the first time I ever heard it really played."[24] Tatum's debut was historic because he outplayed the elite competition and heralded the demise of the stride era. He was not challenged further until stride specialist Donald Lambert initiated a half-serious rivalry with him.

Duke Ellington, introduced in a club where Tatum was playing in 1938 by his manager, Irving Mills, stood up to acknowledge the applause but wouldn’t play himself: “I have a clause in my contract,” he joked, “that says I don’t play piano when Art Tatum is in the same room.” — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:15, 1 June 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Tatum’s sound was attributable to both his harmonic inventiveness and technical prowess. Many of his harmonic concepts and larger chord voicings (e.g., 13th chords with various flat or sharp intervals) were well ahead of their time in the 1930s (except for their partial emergence in popular songs of the jazz age) and they would be explored by bebop-era musicians a decade later. He worked some of the upper extensions of chords into his lines, a practice which was further developed by Bud Powell and Charlie Parker, which in turn was an influence on the development of ‘modern jazz’. Tatum also pioneered the use of dissonance in jazz piano, as can be heard, for example, on his recording of “Aunt Hagar’s Blues”,[27] which uses extensive dissonance to achieve a bluesy effect. In addition to using major and minor seconds, dissonance was inherent in the complex chords that Tatum frequently used.

His protean style was elaborate, pyrotechnic, dramatic and joyous, combining stride, jazz, swing, boogie-woogie and classical elements, while the musical ideas flowed in rapid-fire fashion. Benny Green wrote in his collected work of essays, The Reluctant Art, that “Tatum has been the only jazz musician to date who has made an attempt to conceive a style based upon all styles, to master the mannerisms of all schools and then synthesize those into something personal.”[29] He was playful, spontaneous and often inserted quotes from other songs into his improvisations.[30]

From the foundation of stride, Tatum made great leaps forward in technique and harmony and he honed a groundbreaking improvisational style that extended the limits of what was possible in jazz piano. His innovations were to greatly influence later jazz pianists, such as Powell, Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson, Billy Taylor, Bill Evans, Tete Montoliu and Chick Corea. One of Tatum’s innovations was his extensive use of the pentatonic scale, which may have inspired later pianists to further mine its possibilities as a device for soloing. Herbie Hancock described Tatum’s unique tone as “majestic” and devoted some time to unlocking this sound and to noting Tatum’s harmonic arsenal.[34] Yet much of Tatum’s keyboard vocabulary remains unassimilated by today’s crop of players.[35]

Oscar Peterson cited Tatum as one of the most “intimidating” pianists, and said that “there wasn’t a jazz pianist of the era who wasn’t influenced by him”.[39] Critic Gunther Schuller declared, “On one point there is universal agreement: Tatum’s awesome technique.”[40] That technique was marked by a calm physical demeanor and efficiency. Tatum did not indulge in theatrical physical or facial expression. The effortless gliding of his hands over difficult passages baffled most who witnessed the phenomenon. He especially astonished other pianists to whom Tatum appeared to be “playing the impossible.”[41] Even when playing scintillating runs at high velocity, it appeared that his fingers hardly moved. Hank Jones said: "When I finally met him and got a chance to hear him play in person, it seemed as if he wasn’t really exerting much effort, he had an effortless way of playing. It was deceptive. You’d watch him and you couldn’t believe what was coming out, what was reaching your ears. He didn’t have that much motion at the piano. He didn’t make a big show of moving around and waving his hands and going through all sorts of physical gyrations to produce the music that he produced, so that in itself is amazing. There had to be intense concentration there, but you couldn’t tell by just looking at him play."[42]

Noting Tatum's impact on musicians, Benny Green stressed in The Reluctant Art, "Tatum shattered everyone; Tatum caused all other musicians to lose confidence; Tatum terrified those who thought they knew how far jazz could be taken."

Tatum played chords with a relatively flat-fingered technique compared to the curvature taught in classical training. Composer/pianist Mary Lou Williams told Whitney Balliett, “Tatum taught me how to hit my notes, how to control them without using pedals. And he showed me how to keep my fingers flat on the keys to get that clean tone.” [47] Jimmy Rowles said, “Most of the stuff he played was clear over my head. There was too much going on—both hands were impossible to believe. You couldn’t pick out what he was doing because his fingers were so smooth and soft, and the way he did it—it was like camouflage.”[48] When his fastest tracks of “Tiger Rag” are slowed down, they still reveal a coherent, syncopated rhythm. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:35, 1 June 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

By the way, certain editors have taken an obsessive interest in this article, and have deleted almost every single sentence that is not supported by a footnote and a reliable citation source. To me that is highly counterproductive. Support will come in time. Hopefully Wikipedia will be around when we are all dead and will improve over the years and decades. I have no interest in competing in an edit war with these characters. The reason I call them obsessive is because most pages on Wikipedia have barely a fraction of the sourcing. Look for example at the Wiki page on the Battle of Mogadishu (1993). You can read the main article for paragraph after paragraph of factual description without encountering a single footnote of support. You can go to the Wiki page on Miles Davis' "All Blues" and read a couple of paragraphs analyzing the structure of the tune without encountering a single footnote. But because of a couple of unduly meticulous editors with overactive delete buttons, much valuable material was removed from this article in 2017 and 2018. Kolef

Could you please sign your posts here? Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 09:38, 30 May 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And... if you're the same Kolef who started making this sort of comment 11 years ago, you should have grasped from the response of others, Wikipedia principles and progress that we need sources and that high quality articles on Wikipedia are not filled with repetitious anecdotes and unsourced information. Your argument – 'I've found a really bad article, so it's ok to make this other article bad too' – is not going to gather much support. If 'obsessive' means trying to improve articles instead of making them worse, then yes, some of us are obsessive. EddieHugh (talk) 11:22, 30 May 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Talk about obsessive, it seems that you have been trying to get rid of the section on praise for Tatum for at least 11 years. To you it is subjective, anecdotal, repetitive flag-waving. This is not, however, fanboy blogging about someone's favorite band. The fact that some of the greatest musicians of all time lavished extravagant praise upon Tatum demonstrates how great he was. And the quotes are worth preserving because each is different, each is remarkable and each comes from a unique individual who was prominent and celebrated. The source of the comments is everything, and there are very few artists in any field about whom there is such unanimity of opinion among other preeminent artists. I wish you could understand the implications of that. (talk) 03:31, 31 May 2019 Compare also, for example, the Wiki page on Gene Kelly. And Kelly is picked at random, as I am sure there are hundreds if not thousands of Wiki pages that contain praise and honorifics dedicated to their respective subjects. Mr. Kelly's page has a section that lists 40 different awards and honors the he won. Yet editor Hugh feels that encomiums honoring Art Tatum are "unencyclopedic". Talk about subjective. I am done with the edit war Hugh and his cronies waged against me, and I will simply say that each and every one of the quotes by musical luminaries praising Art Tatum are just as valid or more so than the honors accorded to Mr. Kelly. (talk) 00:23, 12 November 2019 (UTC)Kolef96.234.63.6 (talk) 00:23, 12 November 2019 (UTC) (UTC)Kolef96.242.191.180 (talk) 03:31, 31 May 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My first Wikipedia edit was in 2012 and my first on this article was in 2013. We have comments that cover the extraordinary: "his accomplishment [...] was of a different order from what most people, from what even musicians, had ever heard. It made musicians reconsider their definitions of excellence, of what was possible" ... "Others, including trumpeter Rex Stewart and pianists Oscar Peterson and Bobby Short, were overwhelmed and began to question their own abilities. Some musicians, including Les Paul and Everett Barksdale, stopped playing the piano and switched to another instrument after hearing Tatum". Each person is unique; sure, so quotations from how many people should be included? I agree that the quotations are worth preserving, but an encyclopedia article is not the right place: "A Wikipedia article should not be a complete exposition of all possible details, but a summary of accepted knowledge regarding its subject"; that's the policy at this encyclopedia. EddieHugh (talk) 11:04, 31 May 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
While Wikipedia's written policies and guidelines should be taken seriously, they can be misused. Do not follow an overly strict interpretation of the letter of policies without consideration for their principles. (talk) 19:52, 31 May 2019 (UTC)Kolef96.242.191.180 (talk) 19:52, 31 May 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Lots of what you're putting here is in the article, properly sourced and appropriately summarised. There is an edit history too for anyone who wants to find previous versions. Putting on a talk page sourced or even some unsourced information that might be of use somewhere to editors can be useful, but previous wordings, multiple-sentence quotations that have been shortened or paraphrased in the article (with the source listed for anyone who wants to find out more), and things that are still in it are simply clutter on this page. EddieHugh (talk) 21:02, 1 June 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have selectively saved certain material here because it's valuable and informative, and although it may be somewhere spread across edit history, it would take a hell of a lot of digging to find it, and if it's more than 500 revisions ago, I assume it's lost forever. (talk) 00:44, 2 June 2019 (UTC)Kolef96.242.191.180 (talk) 00:44, 2 June 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ Ira Gitler Remembers Art Tatum,
  2. ^ The author of a biography of Bud Powell refers to "the Harlem-piano tradition of the previous generation, of all-night contests in bars or apartments." Pullman, "Wail: The Life of Bud Powell", Brooklyn, NY: Peter Pullman, LLC, ISBN 978-0-9851418-0-6
  3. ^ Lester, Too Marvelous for Words, p. 174 (quoting from pianist Billy Taylor)
  4. ^ Bill Crow, Jazz Anecdotes, Oxford Univ. Press, 1991, p. 277
  5. ^ Told by Peterson himself on "Omnibus: Oscar Peterson and Andre Previn" – BBC, 1977; and "In the Key of Oscar" – NFB Documentary, 1992
  6. ^ Jazz Professional, 1962,
  7. ^ Journal, Oscar Peterson, March 7, 2004
  8. ^ March 30, 1996 interview with Hank Jones, reprinted in liner notes to Art Tatum, 20th Century Piano Genius, Verve reissue 1996
  9. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference autogenerated1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  10. ^ Cite error: The named reference NPR was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  11. ^ Sheils, James. "Bach and Jazz – Melodic Presentation". Field Lines. Archived from the original on July 23, 2018. Retrieved September 11, 2012. {{cite web}}: Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (|url-status= suggested) (help)
  12. ^ Himes, Geoffrey (December 2011). "1 Pianist, 2 Hands". DownBeat. Vol. 78, no. 12. p. 45.

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deleted NPR broadcast[edit]

[1] refers to a bunch of audio clips that might be interesting but are now 404. Might be worth trying to dig up copies. The text mentions thatTatum liked to play cards. I wonder how he did that without being able to see them. (talk) 23:34, 18 August 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've gone and fixed the link. Graham87 09:23, 15 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Art Tatum/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Aza24 (talk · contribs) 02:08, 5 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Claiming this review. I love Tatum (my userpage links one of his pieces!), so this should surely be an enjoyable review. Thanks for your work here, expect comments in the next 2–3 days. Aza24 (talk) 02:08, 5 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Apologies, I've been busier than expected, I hope to get to this on the weekend at the latest. Aza24 (talk) 05:52, 11 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No problem. I'll be around. EddieHugh (talk) 19:40, 11 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Prose and coverage[edit]


  • More of an optional suggestion, but short sentences as the first paragraph are less than ideal afaik. For example, the google search preview is a little awkward in the current state and hovering over the link Art Tatum gives a preview that appears a little empty, as a result of displaying a single sentence. Something to think about, I almost wonder if the final paragraph could just be moved to after "greatest in his field."
I'll try it there and we can see how it looks after any other changes have been made. EddieHugh (talk) 19:17, 16 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think for me, personally, it works better now—but I will leave this up to you, if you want to change it back. The other part of my reasoning was that the article may not be so long as to warrant a four paragraph lead.
I agree – it helps to draw out more of what he was known for. EddieHugh (talk) 21:53, 17 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I thought that Tatum was rather famous for his partial blindness, could this be worked into the lead perhaps?
I'm reluctant to do this. Tatum wasn't famous for being blind. He was famous for being a pianist. He also happened to be blind. I view highlighting such things as implying that someone was successful in a chosen pursuit despite not having something that most others take for granted. It's a bit patronising and can be a form of discrimination. EddieHugh (talk) 19:17, 16 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Understood, and agreed. Just thought I'd mention it. Aza24 (talk) 05:00, 17 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm at the severe end of the MOS:OL enforcers. Linking jazz piano is redundant when jazz is already linked; same for jazz trio; virtuoso is a common word; alcohol and health... maybe, but the connection is unlikely to be news to readers. EddieHugh (talk) 19:17, 16 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for letting me know about your linking philosophy; I'll keep that in mind for my further comments. I would still say that Jazz trio would be worth linking; most readers will not know that a jazz trio consists of a very specific group of instruments, they'll just assume it could be any three.
  • Surely "Pianist" (or "Jazz pianist") would be more to the point in the infobox (rather than "Musician" I mean)
This is normal in Infobox musical artist. There's Instrument for... instrument, genre for genre; 'jazz pianist' would therefore be repetition. EddieHugh (talk) 19:17, 16 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good point, I'm not familiar with this type of infobox
  • If "stride" is important enough to put in the infobox, I wonder if it can be included in the lead
    • With this in mind, I'm wishing there was a sentence about his influences in the lead, perhaps you could have something like "Drawing from the influence of both the stride style of Fats Waller and James P. Johnson and the harmonies of Debussy and Ravel, Tatum developed a highly-individualistic style. (?)
I'll look at something like that and update here later. EddieHugh (talk) 19:17, 16 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Looking at the sources (and the body here), putting Debussy and Ravel in the lead is probably undue. Positioning a separate influences sentence is also difficult, so, not wanting to attempt a rewrite of the lead, I added "far beyond his initial stride influences" to the final sentence of para 1. I think it establishes a contrast with the final part of the sentence, which also covers the classical influence without listing names. EddieHugh (talk) 21:53, 17 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Early life[edit]

  • Karl's future is mentioned, anything brief about Arline available?
I don't see anything apart from that she became Arline Taylor, so nothing worth mentioning. EddieHugh (talk) 19:17, 16 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • "he could only see things that were close to him, and perhaps could distinguish colors" right?
Not really: the operations were to improve his sight, whereas 'only' would imply that they made it worse. Reworded to clarify. EddieHugh (talk) 19:17, 16 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • You start sentences with "He" quite a bit, which I don't think is a big issue, but I would advise against doing it twice in a row (e.g. "He was there for... He had formal..."
True – an artefact of how I usually assemble article content. Changed that one and I'll look at others. EddieHugh (talk) 19:17, 16 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've reworded a few more now. EddieHugh (talk) 22:49, 17 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Later life and career[edit]

  • to play last, after all the others had finished. works, but still sounds a little redundant to my ears, what do you think?
True. Cut "last,". EddieHugh (talk) 17:57, 17 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • "two sides", "more side" etc., assuming this is slang for something, could a link or rephrase clarify here? I don't think the average reader will be familiar with the term; maybe a Wiktionary link could help in this case (if a WP article doesn't exist)? Hopefully this wouldn't be too at odds with your linking approach :)
Common terminology to refer to releases of that time; probably more appropriate than "single". I've added a link. EddieHugh (talk) 17:57, 17 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • "king of jazz piano players"—seems a little unencyclopedic (and a bit WP:PEACOCK); is there a more nuanced way to say this? E.g. "most-respected" "most-prominent" "leading jazz piano player of his time" or something?
It is used in the source, but fair point. How's "pre-eminent"? EddieHugh (talk) 17:57, 17 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good solution, I would think Aza24 (talk) 08:10, 18 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • "lived as well as their incomes permitted"—seems vague, I get the sentiment (I think?), but an adjective (extravagant?
"Lavishly" to me feels a notch down from "extravagantly", and thus more accurate, so I added that. EddieHugh (talk) 17:57, 17 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • "by his biographer" may as well say who we're talking about in the text; this phrasing sounds to me like this is his only biographer
There is only one if we mean books that are not self-published, but added for clarity. EddieHugh (talk) 17:57, 17 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • "A fellow pianist" assuming we don't know who this is? Just thought I'd check
Mel Clement. Non-notable (meaning no Wikipedia article). I tend not to add such details, but put it in if you prefer. EddieHugh (talk) 17:57, 17 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Unsure about this, but perhaps worth noting his trio combo was atypical?
I think that trios were unusual at that time, with or without drums. I think that the association with piano, bass, drums came later. EddieHugh (talk) 17:57, 17 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • "Following a health warning"–did something specific happen, or the doctor warn him? Seems a bit vague
The source is a bit vague, too. Reworded to "Following a deterioration in his health", which is still non-specific, but easier to understand. EddieHugh (talk) 18:05, 17 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • "Tatum was not linked to drug use." – well, alcohol is a drug, perhaps rephrase?
Changed to "Tatum was not linked to the use of illegal drugs". EddieHugh (talk) 18:05, 17 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Style of technique[edit]

  • "that Tatum often did not modify his playing when in a band."—this may not seem like a "bad" thing to the average reader. Perhaps it can be clarified; I assume you're saying he still played like he was the only one on stage, or did not adjust his playing to suite a collaborative environment?
    • okay now I'm reading the next line "A general criticism of him in a group setting..." and it seems to be the same criticism as the above, but they're presented as different?
Yes, they were the same thing, so now combined, with some punctuation changes to avoid a long sentence. EddieHugh (talk) 22:15, 17 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • I don't really have much else to say about the rest of the prose, really fantastically written! I glanced through his Grove biography (which is a little pathetic...), and wonder if his 1944 concert at the MET would be worth mentioning? Seems significant for a Jazz pianist of the time.
Thanks. The lack of good summaries of the life of such a major figure was one motivation for my improving this one. The MET fits in, although the content of the detail implies that it wasn't such a big thing. EddieHugh (talk) 18:16, 17 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • The year ranges alone are less than helpful as section headers. I wonder if a small amount of context can be added e.g. "1927–1937: Developing musician" (I'm not really sure how to sum up the first section) but the section heading names of Berlioz and Monteverdi come to mind.
I have done what you suggest in other articles, especially where there have been clear physical location changes. Art Farmer is an example. For Tatum, most of his adult life was similar: spend a few months in one place; play a variety of venues; record a bit; move on. As a reader, I dislike section headings that pick out one aspect from the contents: that's an inaccurate summary and not helpful. We could split the content further to chunk it by events, but there'd be some short sections. Doing it with years is like punctuation for the reader. EddieHugh (talk) 19:28, 16 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • "Recognition outside music"—not sure if this is the right name here, especially since the 2nd one is not "outside of music"
Are (computational) musicologists in music? Changed to "Other forms of recognition", but please change it if you can think of something better. EddieHugh (talk) 18:20, 17 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would say so, musicology is musicology. Maybe "Memorials"? No title seems ideal, but I don't think it's an outstanding issue. Aza24 (talk) 08:13, 18 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]



I've found all of my issues appropriately addressed; I am confident this article meets the GA criteria. Congratulations on a fantastic job—I see that you mostly do GAs but I would encourage you to bring this to PR and than FAC... you never know :) Passing now. Aza24 (talk) 08:15, 18 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you for reviewing. There are some (recording) details that I'd want to check and probably incorporate before attempting FAC, although Elmo Hope would be a more likely first attempt. EddieHugh (talk) 14:13, 18 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for your incredible work - I have idolised Tatum since I was a child, and this page is an incredible tribute. Many thanks. No Swan So Fine (talk) 22:34, 20 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Rainey vs. Reamy[edit]

A contributor who claims to be a cousin of Tatum's classical piano instructor tried to edit the article to change the name of the instructor from Rainey to Reamy, but without any citation. (The contributor also claimed that Reamy played boogie-woogie in Toledo nightclubs, which inspired Tatum's jazz.) A Google search reveals a 1940 U.S. Census entry for an "Overton J. Reamy", age 59, living in Toledo, Ohio., which could lend creedence to the Reamy spelling and account. A Google search for "Overton G. Rainey" turns up a lot of results, but can they all have originated from the "Rainey" spelling in Lester's bio? (talk) 18:35, 18 March 2022 (UTC)kolef98.244.137.86 (talk) 18:35, 18 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We need reliable sources (WP:RS). Do any discuss this and prefer 'Reamy'? Lester (p37) states that Rainey was "black" and the census states that Reamy was "white", so something's wrong. The census page has something like "music teacher" for his occupation, so it's possible, but we need RS. EddieHugh (talk) 18:55, 18 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This "Find a Grave" webpage identifies "Overton James 'Ovie' Reamy" (1881 - 1957) as a blind musician and entertainer in Toledo, and contains a photo of him playing piano, and also contains part of an obituary which identifies him as Art Tatum's piano teacher:
Also, "Overton J Reamy" is listed as being on the Board of Trustees for the Perkins School for the Blind or some related institution between 1920 and 1927:
In addition, the State of Ohio Annual Reports for 1909 lists "Overton J. Reamy" as a Toledo musician having graduated from the Ohio State School for the Blind in 1902:
I believe these sources are sufficient to drop of footnote in the article regarding the spelling of his name. (talk) 15:03, 26 March 2022 (UTC)kolef98.244.137.86 (talk) 15:03, 26 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Find a Grave isn't a reliable source. See Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Perennial sources. We're close to having evidence to justify having a footnote, but for now we have what's too close to WP:SYNTH and/or the more general WP:OR. EddieHugh (talk) 20:32, 1 April 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Downbeat Magazine[edit]

The main article states that Tatum won the Downbeat Magazine Critics' Poll for three years in a row from 1954, and cites at footnote 118 to Lester's book. However, the Wikipedia article on Downbeat Magazine states that the Critics' Poll did not commence until 1961. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:07, 14 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Wikipedia article is about the Hall of Fame votes. The Tatum article states "Tatum was inducted into the DownBeat Jazz Hall of Fame in 1964". That's different from the poll that he topped three years in a row ("for pianists"): DownBeat in 2021 referred to that year's poll being the sixty-ninth, putting the first in 1953. EddieHugh (talk) 18:07, 15 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good catch. (talk) 14:19, 17 June 2022 (UTC)kolef98.244.137.86 (talk) 14:19, 17 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Vision Should be in Lead[edit]

I think his issues seeing should be in the lead. I would add it but better someone who can integrate it properly. I think it is way more notable than his excessive drinking. Hausa warrior (talk) 07:23, 25 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't think so. His drinking was part of his chosen (and culturally influenced) lifestyle; his near-blindness was something he was largely born with. Thankfully, the world is moving on from highlighting what people can't do, and instead focusing on what they can do and choose to do. EddieHugh (talk) 20:09, 26 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]