Art Tatum - Tea For Two
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
A major event in his meteoric rise to success was his appearance at a cutting contest in 1933 at Morgan's bar in New York City that included Fats Waller, James P. Johnson and Willie "The Lion" Smith.
Standard contest pieces included Johnson's "Harlem Strut" and "Carolina Shout", and Waller's "Handful of Keys".
Tatum performed his arrangements of "Tea for Two" and "Tiger Rag", in a performance that was considered to be the last word in stride piano. Johnson, reminiscing about Tatum's debut afterward, simply said, "When Tatum played Tea For Two that night I guess that was the first time I ever heard it really played."