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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby




Blue Classic

FATS WALLER

PORTRAIT

BLUE Classic line saban crescendo 7270

 

 

 

  1. B Flat Blues
  2. I Ain’t Got Nobody
  3. Dinah
  4. Sweet Sue
  5. Twelfth St rag
  6. Why Do I Lie To Myself About You
  7. Ain’t Misbehavin
  8. Everybody Loves My Baby
  9. Handful of Keys
  10. The Minor drags
  11. Do Me a Favour
  12. Have a Little Dream on Me
  13. You’re not the Only Oyster in the Stew
  14. Mandy
  15. Let’s Pretend There’s a Moon
  16. Honeysuckle Rose
  17. I’ve Got My Fingers Crossed

 

Fats Waller was the undisputed ‘King of Good Time Jazz’, he was also an exceptionally fine pianist, who influenced many including Count Basie and Oscar Peterson. Many other fine jazz musicians including Ben Webster enjoyed his music as a tonic to get into the day in a good mood. If you listen to these tracks it is easy to see why, they are full of infectious good humour and well-played choruses. Fats was not only an excellent soloist himself, but he knew how to get 120% out of everyone in his band. Some of his sidemen are rarely heard outside his band, but every one of them acquits himself with great credit.

It is probably this happy feel about his records, that is the reason that they are still often played on radio programmes. Unfortunately I never saw him in a live performance, but it must have been a very exciting affair. If in doubt listen to the 1943 version of Ain’t Misbehavin’, Louis Armstrong in the famous New York Town Hall Concert with Jack Teagarden copies bits of it and Louis never copied anybody, so this chorus must have stuck in his sub-conscious!

Buy this album and enjoy the genius that was Fats Waller is my advice, you will also understand fully what ‘stride’ piano is about when you have heard it.

 

Don Mather

 



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