Arthur Tatum Jr. (ˈteɪtəm, October 13, 1909 – November 5, 1956) was an American jazz pianist who is widely regarded as one of the greatest ever. From early in his career, fellow musicians acclaimed Tatum's technical ability as extraordinary. Tatum also extended jazz piano's vocabulary and boundaries far beyond his initial stride influences, and established new ground through innovative use of reharmonization, voicing, and bitonality.
Tatum grew up in Toledo, Ohio, where he began playing piano professionally and had his own radio program, rebroadcast nationwide, while still in his teens. He left Toledo in 1932 and had residencies as a solo pianist at clubs in major urban centers including New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. In that decade, he settled into a pattern he followed for most of his career – paid performances followed by long after-hours playing, all accompanied by prodigious consumption of alcohol. He was said to be more spontaneous and creative in such venues, and although