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Tatum was not inclined toward understatement or expansive use of space. He seldom played in a simplified way, preferring interpretations that displayed his great technique and clever harmonizations. 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.'” A handful of critics, notably Keith Jarrett, have complained that Tatum played too many notes 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.”
How to Learn The Piano Part
Your keyboard instructor may frown upon the idea of instructing rock keyboard in case they were very classical training, but do not worry. Traditional music is built upon similar principles and so traditional piano study won`t hurt your either. Traditional music can teach you so much about tempo, structure, phrasing and additional important aspects.