Art Tatum, God Is In The House (High Note)
The title comes from what Fats Waller said when he saw Art Tatum walk into a club where Waller was playing. Dan Morgenstern tells the story in his notes for this essential collection, “…he stopped the music and announced: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, I play the piano, but God is in the house tonight.’” Tatum was Waller’s primary inspiration. The master had no hesitation about paying obeisance to the student. Using a disc recorder, Jerry Newman captured the incredible pianist in Harlem clubs in 1940 and ‘41. The music on this album is not a recent discovery. Don Schlitten released it as an LP on his Onyx label in 1973. The High Note CD has been available since 1998. I’m recommending it now it out of concern that some of you may have deprived yourselves of these indispensible snapshots of Tatum’s genius.