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much favored by the hoppers and their precursors. (It also fits a G Diminished, which the pianist, Hank Jones, happens to hit at that point.) The next phrase is a long one occupying the rest of the chorus, starting with a full beat anticipation on the A and winding gracefully into a tailspin that ends abruptly on dominant, syncopated tonic, dominant. The power of understatement is implicit in this Young improvisation as it so often has been in the solo work of his former employer, Count Basie.
By far the most difficult task in jazz documentation is the transcribing of piano solos. Even when, as in two of the three instances selected, there was no rhythm section to obscure the left hand lines, the exact notation of the bass clef part has to be at least partly conjectural; no less elusive, at times, are the exact constructions of chords in the right hand. In undertaking the hazardous job of reproducing the solos by Tatum, Wilson and Powell, Frank Metis, the transcriber, has occasionally adhered to the spirit rather than the letter, though in each case an examination of the manuscript along with a study of the record itself will bring into sharp focus the ratiocination that motivates the three styles.
The Tatum passage consists of the four-bar introduction and the opening 12-measure chorus of the moderately slow and infinitely relaxed Blues in B Flat. What strikes the piano student in particular, and the jazz fan in general, is the large proportion of the notes played by Tatum that are virtually, if not technically, grace notes. The triplets in the third beat of Measure 1 and the second beat of Measure 2 serve this purpose; in Measure 9 one might consider that the only essential notes are the F Flat, E Flat, D Flat and B Flat in the second and third beats, while everything else is ornamentation. The difference between Tatum playing the blues and an earth-bound jazz pianist undertaking the same assignment is the difference between poetry and prose. But not all of Tatum's poetic finesse is confined to the gentle rhythmic impact of the grace notes; the harmonic approach, too, is oblique and unpredictable, as in Measure 3 when the first right hand chords are struck against a G Flat 9th bass, moving no less unexpectedly to an augmented chord in Measure 4 rather than the F 9th that might have been anticipated. Tatum's feeling for