Tatum drew inspiration from his contemporaries James P. Johnson and Fats Waller, who exemplified the stride piano style, and from the more 'modern' Earl Hines, 6 years Tatum's senior. Tatum's meteoric rise to success began with his appearance at a cutting contest in 1933 that included Waller, Johnson and Willie "The Lion" Smith. Standard contest pieces included Johnson's "Harlem Strut" and "Carolina Shout" and Fats Waller's "Handful of Keys." Tatum triumphed with his arrangements of "Tea for Two" and "Tiger Rag", in a performance which was considered to be the last word in stride piano. Tatum's debut was historic because he outplayed the elite competition and heralded the demise of the stride era.
recorded by foundring Oct. 07
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