Thomas Wright 'Fats' Waller was a true entertainer. A New York trailblazer of his time (1920s to early 1940s), turning out hundreds of songs including those which would become established standards, such as "Ain't Misbehavin", "Honeysuckle Rose" and "Jitterbug Waltz". A jocular, larger-than-life character, his Harlem stride piano and gritty voice were key to a distinctive sound which would inform the jazz of subsequent generations.
Lewandowski embarked on this project with clear intent: "I wanted to approach it with respect. Fats' music is frequently loud, exuberant, even obnoxious at times, as well as wistful and elegant; so I really wanted to strip it down - and, with that in mind, I automatically thought of Liam Noble and Paul Clarvis.
As a drummer, Paul demonstrates such great poise and economy, using only brushes throughout the whole of what was a particularly relaxed recording session, whilst Liam's playful, unpredictability at the piano is perfect for this...Nothing was fixed, the shackles were removed - I loved the spontaneity and the vulnerability, as well as Liam's and Paul's wry take on things."
With authentically-sampled historical introductions occasionally reinforcing the context, Waller's eleven tracks unfold organically from the slenderest of wireframes.
Personnel: Mark Lewandowski (double bass), Liam Noble (piano), Paul Clarvis (drums)
- Lulu's Back In Town
- I'll Be Glad When You're Dead...Suzannah!!
- Jitterbug Waltz
- Blue Because Of You
- Fair & Square In Love
- Its A Sin To Write A Letter
- Have A Little Dream On Me (Solo)
- Ain't Misbehavin'
- Honeysuckle Rose
- Surprise Ending
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