Song Title: Tea for Two Artist: Art Tatum Genre: jazz Musical key: A♭ Major and C Major Piano: Art Tatum Number of listens: 1495 Current rank: 2923 (updated weekly) Highest rank: 2697 (play the video all the way through to register a vote for this song)
Commentary: Tea For Two was originally a song from the 1924 musical No, No Nanette, music by Vincent Youmans and lyrics by Irving Caesar. The duet was sung by Nanette (Louis Groody) and Tom (Jack Barker) in Act II about their future together.
The song has abrupt key changes between A♭ Major and C Major. The dotted eighth and quarter notes are unusal for a show tune.
Irving Caesar revealed on Steve Allens radio show that the lyrics were originally temporary place holders, with the intent of better lyrics later.
Art Tatum performed the song in a cutting contest at Morgans bar in New York City. His performance was considered the last word in stride piano. James P. Johnson said, When Tatum played Tea For Two that night I guess that was the first time I ever heard it really played. Both James P Johnson and Fats Waller, who were competing, were blown away by Tatums performance. Johnsons response was a prearranged stride version of Chopins Revolutionary Etude. Tatums cutting contest perfomance of Tea For Two and Tiger Rag launched his career.
Jazz virtuoso Art tatum recorded Tea For Two in 1939, turning it into a jazz standard. Jazz pianist Thelonious Monk reharmonized the song in bebop-style in 1952 under the song name Skippy.
The original 1939 version was recorded as a piano solo. His 1952 version was recorded in Los Angeles, California, on 20 December 1952 with Everett Barksdale on guitar and Slam Stewart on bass.
Translations courtesy of Apple and Google.
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Hunter: Tea for Two is Malks favorite song.
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