Fats Waller, on Art Tatum: "I only play the piano, but tonight God is in the house."
Drummer Jo Jones after recording in a trio with Art Tatum and bassist Red Callender: "I didn't even play on that session ... all I did was listen. I mean, what could I add? ... I felt like setting my damn drums on fire."
Dave Brubeck on Art Tatum: "I don't think there's any more chance of another Tatum turning up than another Mozart."
Oscar Peterson on Art Tatum: "Musically speaking, he was and is my musical God, and I feel honored to remain one of his humbly devoted disciples."
Jazz Pianist Kenny Barron: "I have every record [Tatum] ever made - and I try never to listen to them ... If I did, I'd throw up my hands and give up!"
William Christopher Handy (1873-1958), known as W. C. Handy, was a prolific jazz composer and musician. Just a Haydn takes center stage as a European composer of the classic period (1750-1800) in music, the black composer Handy is a key figure in jazz. Jazz developed around 1900 in New Orleans.
Haydn did not invent the sonata and Handy did not invent the blues. Yet, each composer wrote so many works using these respective forms that Haydn is often referred to as the "Father of the Sonata" and Handy as the the "Father of the Blues."
National Public Radio (NPR), February 15, 2005 from "Day to Day"
Profile: Recollections of W. C. Handy
NPR Radio (Tribute, 2005):
|Ma Rainey (1886-1939)|
Mother of the Blues
|Bessie Smith (1894-1937)|
Empress of the Blues
|Victoria Spivey (1906-1976)|
A Blues Queen
Run the mouse over the "Blues" matrix at the right. See if you can follow the blues formula as these musicians sing the blues. Hint: Count four beats for each measure and it is easy to follow through the 12-bar formula.
Ma Rainey singing Traveling Blues (Early 1920s)
Note the first four measures with the same 1-flavor.
Bessie Smith singing Jailhouse Blues
by Bessie Smith and Clarence Williams (1923)
Victoria Spivey singing Black Snake Blues, Recorded in 1961 (Spivey also on Piano)
A Blues Song (1926) by Victoria Spivey
In the last two measures, the 5-flavor appears in part.
W. C. Handy
Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong