Seeking Inspiration from Arthur Tatum’s Life
Born on 13 October 1909, Arthur Tatum Jr. was one of the most influential jazz pianists in the 1900s. He recorded his music commercially for 24 years. More specifically, Tatum did so from 1932 until his death in 1956. In fact, he recorded 68 tracks for Norman Granz in less than two days. Tatum made three of these tracks in one take. That is how remarkable he was. Other labels he worked with included Brunswick, Decca, and Capitol. His style influenced many jazz pianists including Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Chick Corea, and Billy Taylor among others. Taylor even said that Tatum could make a damaged piano sound good.
Background History That Shaped His Love for Music
Unfortunately, many people believe that Tatum’s rise to fame was an ordinary experience for him. Consequently, they do not draw as much from his pursuit of music as they should. For example, many people do not know that his father was a guitarist and his mother played the piano. Some musicians acknowledge that he suffered from visual impairment, but many of them do not realize that this problem started when he was an infant. At this stage, cataracts affected his eyes leaving one of them blind while the other one had limited vision. He underwent surgery to improve his condition, but he endured an assault in 1930 that eroded all the improvements made through surgery. He was 21 years at the time of the unfortunate incident.
Seeking Inspiration from Tatum’s Life and His Instrument
As a child, Tatum could not see well, but his hearing senses were perfect. Therefore, he learned to play the piano by ear. In 1925, Tatum got a chance to go to the Columbus School for the Blind. Here, he learned Braille and studied music. One of his teachers was Overton G. Rainey who suffered from visual impairment as well. In this school, Tatum perfected his skills. He became as master of what he did as described by Billy Taylor and others. You can also become perfect at playing music. Nothing can prevent you from being one of the best pianists in the world. Draw inspiration from the life of Arthur Tatum who learned to play this instrument even when he could not see the piano he was playing. Become a popular pianist as he was.
Breathe life into your dream. It’s simple, go on and do it.
Try Willan’s music lessons to jumpstart your musical journey.
Getting Inspiration from the Greats
244 Madison Avenue Suite 171
New York, NY 10016