Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Early Years 2
Genres: Jazz, Pop
The 45 tracks on these two CDs come from a nine-month period that saw Fats Waller reaching the height of his popularity, emphasizing his talents as a singer of light popular songs. While many of the tunes heard here haven'... more »
The 45 tracks on these two CDs come from a nine-month period that saw Fats Waller reaching the height of his popularity, emphasizing his talents as a singer of light popular songs. While many of the tunes heard here haven't endured, Waller's treatment of them certainly does. They bubble with infectious good humor, a matchless charm, a superb sense of swing, and a breadth of spirit that put Waller on the same plateau as Louis Armstrong among jazz entertainers. He could convey both bemusement and joy, making it clear it was possible to be happy in more ways than one at the same time. Waller was a great jazz pianist even when he was playing decorative fills or a chorus. His piano and occasional celesta shine here, as do the members of his regular band, especially Herman Autrey on trumpet and Rudy Powell (and, later, Gene Sedric) on clarinet and tenor, complementing Waller perfectly and expanding on the good spirits. On four tracks, the Rhythm expand from their usual five pieces to a big band, including a version of "I've Got Rhythm" with brilliant stride piano and high-note trumpet work. --Stuart Broomer
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The performances and the humor show Fats at his peak.
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is easily the best of the RCA releases of Fats. Some of the material he dealt with was truly cornball but he managed to twist these songs into musical and comic masterpieces. His version of "I Got Rhythm" here is the most furious ever; at one point it sounds like he jumps up and sits on the piano keys! His asides and hollers foreshadow Mingus at his rawest and only Art Tatum has matched Fats on the ivories. This is the set to get if you want a solid dose of Fats Waller."
These are, without a doubt, some of the best RCA Fats..
douglasnegley | Pittsburgh, Pa. United States | 08/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Somewhat confusingly, this material was recorded originally on the Bluebird label. In the mid to late '60s they were cleaned up, transferred well, then reissued by RCA (which owns Bluebird) in a collection called the "Vintage Series". The titles of the LPs were "Valentine Stomp", "'34-'35", and "Fractious Fingering", among others; then, in the '70s, the same tunes were again reissued - this time on double NEW Bluebird label LPs...but, here's the rub - the newer Bluebird LPs were NOT properly transfered. All of this simply means that you never knew from one reissue to another what the quality was going to be like. The tunes here are some of the best that Fats recorded - like "Got A Bran' New Suit", "Spreadin' Rhythm Around", "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (with a truly funny and affected Fats intro) which, by the way, were all in pristine condition on "Valentine Stomp" in the '60s, yet in terrible shape on Bluebird in the '70s. The quality of the tunes are not in question...Gene "Honeybear" Cedric is sparkling in his reed work, and Al Casey romps on guitar (check out his chord soloing on "..Bran New Suit")...only whether or not the time, and effort, was taken to properly transfer these true American Waller- treatment classics to their present form. I am assuming, hopefully, that they have been given the TLC that they so richly deserve. As I write this, I am listening to my pristine-condition "Valentine Stomp" LP...and you thought vinyl was outdated..."
J. Mandeville | USA | 01/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A crash course in American Jazz-- the Immortal Thomas "Fats" Waller is a constellation fully at home rubbing shoulders in the Swingin' Firmament alongside any other stellar giant of Le Jazz you might wish to name: Armstrong, Holliday, Lunceford, Miles & Gil. Indispensable."