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Zenph presents 'the singular musician' in: Art Tatum / Piano Starts Here

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SONY BMG Masterworks and Zenph Studios announce the release of Art Tatum's "Piano Starts Here," the second recording in a series of discs that represent a milestone in the history of recorded music.

Art Tatum's "Piano Starts Here" album contains material that has been in print for more than 50 years. Yet the original, an incomparable jazz album that highlights the mastery of this singular musician, had been marred by nominal sound quality and other imperfections – until now.

Zenph's unique technique turns audio recordings into live performances that precisely replicate the original recording, but offer vastly improved sound quality. Listeners are transported back to the moment of creation and experience Tatum's playing as if they were in the room when the original recordings were made.

Zenph captures the musical nuances of the original recording, with details about the pedal actions, volume and articulations down to millisecond timings. This new digital data, transcribed into high-resolution MIDI files, was played back on a state-of-the-art Yamaha Disklavier ProTM concert grand piano. The process allows for the production of pristine new renderings that transcend the limitations of the original recording process.

Last year, Sony BMG and Zenph Studios re-recorded Tatum's 1949 concert at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. They placed the piano on the same stage in the same spot that Tatum played and recorded a flawless re-performance on modern equipment before a live audience.

The original album includes nine virtuosic solos Tatum recorded live at The Shrine, along with Tatum's first four commercial recordings from 1933, issued on 78 rpm masters by the Brunswick label, including "Tiger Rag" – considered to be his signature performance.  This year marks the 75th anniversary of those landmark studio recordings.

SONY BMG's new disc is a hybrid surround-sound SACD/CD disc, which plays on all traditional CD players and sounds magnificent on Super Audio (SACD) players. It also includes a binaural version of the re-performance that provides an immersive experience. When listened to with headphones, it replicates what Tatum would have heard while he sat on the piano bench. 
 
The Zenph re-performance also corrects several problems with the original album. For one thing, playback speed was too slow on 12 of the 13 tracks, so after Zenph fixed the tempo, you hear that Tatum actually played faster than has been thought.

And, thanks to Tatum discographer Arnold Laubich, Zenph has restored about two minutes of lost material. The original album omits excerpts from Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess," which Tatum performed at the concert during the track now titled "The Man I Love." Zenph also fixed an 80 millisecond tape glitch during "Humoresque" that mars the timing on the original album.

SONY BMG assembled its top producers and engineers for the Tatum project, including Steve Epstein, five-time Grammy? Award winner for "Producer of the Year," Richard King, a three-time Grammy? winner, and Gus Skinas, renowned for his expertise in high-resolution surround-sound recording. Piano voicer Marc Wienert is the main subject of the acclaimed book Grand Obsession by Perri Knize.

The Tatum CD is a follow up to the profusely-praised re-performance of pianist Glenn Gould's 1955 rendition of the Bach Goldberg Variations. "A technological miracle," observed the Wall Street Journal.  "I cannot over-recommend [the Gould release] too highly," wrote The Audiophile Voice. "You are in for a life-altering experience."

Hailed worldwide, Zenph's work was named one of the "Best Ideas of the Year" by The New York Times Magazine and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Stereophile, The Absolute Sound, National Public Radio and the BBC.

About Sony BMG Masterworks
RCA Red Seal, Sony Classical, deutsche harmonia mundi, Masterworks Broadway and Masterworks Jazz are labels of SONY BMG Masterworks.  For email updates and information regarding RCA Red Seal, Sony Classical, deutsche harmonia mundi, Masterworks Broadway and Masterworks Jazz artists, promotions, tours and repertoire, please visit www.sonybmgmasterworks.com.

About Zenph Studios
Zenph? Studios, Inc. is a software company based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The company's focus is building software for understanding – and re-creating – precisely how musicians perform. Sony BMG Masterworks began issuing a series of Zenph's re-performances in 2007, which feature modern recordings of classic performances with vastly improved sound from perspectives tailored for surround-sound and headphone listening. Zenph's processes create data representing performances identical to past recordings by legendary artists. Whether on stage or via new recordings, the results offer astonishing fidelity. For more information about Zenph Studios, visit www.zenph.com

"ART TATUM: PIANO STARTS HERE"
AT HARLEM'S WORLD FAMOUS APOLLO THEATER
JUNE 19TH, 20TH & 22ND

PROCEEDS TO
BENEFIT THE NATIONAL
JAZZ MUSEUM IN HARLEM

Zenph Studios, in association with Metropolitan Talent Presents, is debuting "Art Tatum: Piano Starts Here" June 19th, 20 & 22nd   (Thursday, Friday evenings and Sunday matinee) at Harlem's world famous Apollo Theater. This original show centers on "Doc Hanley's Place" a Harlem jazz club circa 1956. At 60, Doc is shutting down his place and wants to reminisce about the jazz greats who graced his stage. In his opinion, the greatest artist and talent on any instrument, was his friend, Art Tatum.

Enhanced by a dozen live Zenph Re-performances of Tatum at his best, projected visuals and spotlight soliloquies, "Art Tatum: Piano Starts Here" is a celebration of the "giants of jazz" and a coronation of the one and only, Art Tatum. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster - $50, $40 and $25 (click onto ticketmaster.com/apollotheater) and the Apollo Theater box office (212/531-5305).

Zenph Studios will donate 50% of the after-tax profits The National Jazz Museum in Harlem. During the showings, the world famous Apollo Theater lobby will be graced by an art exhibit featuring the original paintings from Robert A. Parker's acclaimed children's book, "Piano Starts Here – The Young Art Tatum" (Random House). 

"Art Tatum: Piano Starts Here" is an original show written by Jeffrey B. McIntyre, Tre Garrett and Eric Hirsh based on a story by Jeffrey B. McIntyre. It is a Zenph Studios Production with Jeffrey B. McIntyre, Executive Producer and Eric Hirsh, Supervising Producer. The show is directed by Tre Garrett and "Art Tatum: Piano Starts Here" will star Paul Butler, of Broadway and television fame (visit zenph.com/tatum for additional information).

Zenph Studios and Sony BMG Masterworks are also releasing a new recording entitled, "Piano Starts Here" on June 3rd as a follow-up to their successful Glenn Gould album of last year. The new CD features Zenph re-performances of nine virtuosic solos Tatum recorded live at The Shrine Auditorium, along with Tatum's first four commercial recordings. Now, a re-recorded Tatum on modern equipment offers a vastly improved sound quality making "Piano Starts Here" and  classics like: "Humoresque", "Someone To Watch Over Me", "Tea For Two" and "Tiger Rag" to name a few, even more memorable than ever before.  

"Art Tatum: Piano Starts Here" travels after the debut Apollo shows, to the Toronto Jazz Festival showing on Monday,  June 23rd*. Metropolitan Talent Presents is also pursuing future bookings of the show with performing arts centers nationally.