Over the years 1954 to 1956 Norman Granz recorded the jazz pianist Art Tatum in a variety of group settings, from trios to sextets and over the years these recordings have been reissued in a variety of formats, from 8 individual CDs to a 6 CD box set.
Anyone looking for state of the art small group swing jazz need look no further - these recordings are the mother lode. The personnel listings read like a who's who of swing jazz and feature such notable swing musicians as Benny Carter, Ben Webster, Buddy DeFranco, Red Callender, Jo Jones, Lionel Hampton, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Barney Kessel, Buddy Rich, Louis Bellson and Roy Eldridge. A very impressive list.
While the recordings where made in a studio and there are no clinking glasses or other live recording artifacts the music is sublime and easily rates as some of the most important small group swing jazz ever recorded. And of course, Tatum is nothing short of a force of nature.
Get the box set and you instantly have the start of a killer jazz collection.