“God is in the House”
A Biography of Art Tatum
“The late Fats Waller, no mean keyboard genius himself, halted a show at the Greenwich Village Inn in New York one night to announce dramatically in the presence of his friend: ‘I play the piano, but God is in the house.’”
(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 1947)
Ever since his first appearance in New York City in 1932, Art Tatum has been regarded as the most important pianist in the history of jazz. His technique took the breath away even from concert pianists of the calibre of Horowitz, his touch was of unparalleled lightness and elegance, and his improvisations across the entire harmonic spectrum put him decades ahead of his time. For the first time this book in detail reconstructs the often blurred traces of the life of the Afro American piano virtuoso from Toledo, Ohio. Based on the stories of many contemporaries and fellow musicians and on countless reports in the daily press and jazz journals, a fascinating portrait emerges of a unique artist and the pulsating world of jazz of his time.
“Art Tatum showed what it is like to live in a world where all doors are open.”
(Tom Piazza, 1996)
“Maybe 300 years from now, the ‘Encyclopedia Brittanica’ will say: ‘Jazz Music – a limited musical form in which the work of Art Tatum will serve to illustrate what was possible within the form.’”
(Barney Kessel, 1961)
Mark Lehmstedt (b. 1961) is a German publisher, editor and historian. Lehmstedt publishers focusing on cultural history was rewarded Best German Publisher in 2019 and 2020. Mark Lehmstedt teaches media history at the University of Leipzig mainly dealing with German book history from the 15th century to the present day. At the occasion of the 100th birthday of Art Tatum in 2009 he published the first biography of the pianist in German.
English edition \ Die zugrundeliegende deutsche Fassung erschien im Lehmstedt Verlag
Published in March 2024
584 p. / brochure \ € 48.– / 978-3-95593-260-2