Sunday, 4 November 2012

13. Fats Waller: On-Air Sessions 1938

Fats Waller was one of the most famous and prolific jazz pianists. He wrote hundreds of songs and was at the forefront of establishing the stride piano style that embodied 20's Harlem jazz. He wrote and had a number of hits including Ain't Misbehavin' , The Joint Is Jumpin' and Honeysuckle Rose. Any of these tracks can be found on the numerous "greatest hits" collections out there. They are essential listening but I wanted to try a different tack when choosing a Fats Waller album for the Kind Of Jazz Library.

Waller's musicianship is unquestioned yet he managed to combine it with some serious showmanship. This album has both in spades. The recordings are from three complete radio sessions that he did in 1938. The first seven tracks are from a NBC recording made in July 12th. Tracks 15-26 are from a sound check at the Yacht Club in October 1938. Both sessions include musicians from his Rhythm band and the swing does not let up. In between the two sessions is a recording made in London at St George's Hall. This was originally a transatlantic broadcast and the album includes the quaint radio announcements as well. On these tracks he accompanies the vocalist Adelaide Hall on the piano and the pipe organ. The sound on these tracks isn't great but the crackle just adds to the atmosphere of hearing records made in the 30's that were transmitted across the Atlantic Ocean.

  1. Ain't Misbehavin'
  2. The Joint Is Jumpin
  3. Inside (This Heart Of Mine)
  4. I Had To Do It
  5. E Flat Blues
  6. Honeysuckle Rose
  7. Hold My Hand
  8. Ain't Misbehavin' Intro
  9. Marie
  10. I Can't Give You Anything But Love
  11. Handfull Of Keys
  12. That Old Feeling
  13. Flat Foot Floogie
  14. Ain't Misbehavin' Theme
  15. Yacht Club Swing
  16. You Can't Be Mine And Somebody Else's Too'
  17. Monday Mornin'
  18. What Do You Know About Love?
  19. I Had To Do It
  20. African Ripples
  21. I Got Rhythm
  22. Old Folks
  23. Some Of These Days
  24. Stop Beatin' Around The Mulberry Bush
  25. Summer Souvenirs
  26. Yacht Club Swing Theme
  27. Dream Man
  28. I Used To Love You (But It's All Over Now)
  29. Come Down To Earth My Angel
  30. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
1-7:  NBC Broadcast - July 12, 1938, NYC
8-14: Broadcast To America - September 10, 1938, London
15-26:  Yacht Club Broadcast - October 18, 1938, Yacht Club, NYC
27-30: Bonus Tracks

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