TATUM, ART Born in Ohio in 1910, jazz pianist Art Tatum won international fame during the late 1930's and throughout the 1940's. Nearly blind, Tatum worked almost exclusively as a soloist until 1943. In that year, he joined with Slam Stewart (bass) and Tiny Gibson (guitar) to form the Art Tatum Trio. Recognized by his peers as being an extremely technical virtuoso as well as a pioneer in jazz-experimentation, Tatum died of uremia in 1956.
In addition to Tatum, other significant black jazz pianists during the twentieth century would include Duke Ellington (1899-1974), James P. Johnson (1891-1955), Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton (1885-1941) and Thomas "Fats" Waller (1904-43). See also: DUKE ELLINGTON.