I was walking past the Steinway Store in New York City yesterday and was taken by the piano being built. So I snapped a few shots and it got me thinking. My grandfather was a self-taught ragtime piano player. You’d hum a tune and he’d play it. Same with my father and his four sisters. From the time I was 5 there was always a piano in my home.
All this thinking about pianos and piano players led me to think about Art Tatum. Blind in one eye and partially blind in the other, Art Tatum exemplified genius. No one, my da would say could grace the keys like Art Tatum. He was the first to tell me what was often spoken when Tatum played, “God’s in the room.”
This one’s for my da, who’s keeping time with Art Tatum in heaven.
Image of Tatum 1
Image of Tatum 2
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Part of the Thinkers/Genius Series
Pocket Full of Stones
And I Am Apple Orchard
Sam I Am
The Human Condition
A Love Supreme
What Thoughts I Have of You Tonight, Walt Whitman
Wild Nights! Wild Nights!
From the Fire: Zora Neale Hurston
Give Peace a Chance