Monday, May 14, 2018

From my dad’s CDs

I’m closing in on the end of the recorded alphabet: Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, Ivie Anderson, Louis Armstrong, Fred Astaire, Mildred Bailey, Count Basie, Tony Bennett, Art Blakey, Ruby Braff and Ellis Larkins, Clifford Brown, Dave Brubeck, Joe Bushkin, Hoagy Carmichael, Betty Carter, Ray Charles, Charlie Christian, Rosemary Clooney, Nat “King” Cole, John Coltrane, Bing Crosby, Miles Davis, Matt Dennis, Doris Day, Blossom Dearie, Paul Desmond, Tommy Dorsey, Billy Eckstine, Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, Gil Evans, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Erroll Garner, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Stéphane Grappelli, Bobby Hackett, Coleman Hawkins, Woody Herman, Earl Hines, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Dick Hyman, Harry James, Hank Jones, Louis Jordan, Stan Kenton, Barney Kessel, Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross, Peggy Lee, Mary Ann McCall, Susannah McCorkle, Dave McKenna, Ray McKinley, Marian McPartland, Johnny Mercer, Helen Merrill, Glenn Miller, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Thelonious Monk, Wes Montgomery, Gerry Mulligan, Red Norvo, Anita O’Day, Charlie Parker, Joe Pass, Art Pepper, Oscar Peterson, Bud Powell, Boyd Raeburn, Django Reinhardt, Marcus Roberts, Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Rushing, Catherine Russell, the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, Artie Shaw, George Shearing, Horace Silver, Frank Sinatra, Paul Smith, Jeri Southern, Jo Stafford, Art Tatum, Claude Thornhill, Mel Tormé, McCoy Tyner, Sarah Vaughan, Joe Venuti, and now, composer, pianist, organist, singer, and bandleader Thomas “Fats” Waller. Here is Waller the composer and pianist, in two unembeddable piano solos. I think of these recordings as music to rejoice to. From the George Blood collection of 78s:

“Smashing Thirds” (Waller), recorded in New York City, September 11, 1929.

“African Ripples” (Waller), recorded in New York City, November 16, 1934.

I’ve been listening to these recordings for years via the 2-LP set Fats Waller Piano Solos: 1929-1941 (Bluebird). My dad had these recordings in the 2-CD set Turn On the Heat: Fats Waller Piano Solos (Bluebird), now out of print. I have plenty of other recordings of Waller and his small group (“His Rhythm”), mostly on LP. But listening to my dad’s CDs prompted me to get everything, via JSP’s 6-volume, 25-CD edition of Waller’s studio recordings. Inexpensive (about $6 a CD) and built to last.

I wanted to end this post by suggesting a gateway Waller collection, but I’m not sure I can recommend anything now in print. If you can find it, the Proper Records 4-CD set Handful of Keys would be a good choice.

Also from my dad’s CDs
Mildred Bailey : Tony Bennett : Charlie Christian : Blossom Dearie : Duke Ellington : Coleman Hawkins : Billie Holiday : Louis Jordan : Charlie Parker : Jimmy Rushing : Artie Shaw : Frank Sinatra : Art Tatum : Mel Tormé : Sarah Vaughan : Joe Venuti

And one more related post
Fats Waller’s “Yes!”

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