Yet on virtually any of his records, whether the song is an evergreen standard or the most trite bit of doggerel that a Tin Pan Alley hack could serve up, you will hear a winning combination of good knockabout humor, foot-tapping rhythm and fantastic piano playing. Today, almost all of Fats Waller 's studio recordings can be found on RCA's on-again-off-again series The Complete Fats Waller , which commenced on LPs in and was still in progress during the s.
Thomas "Fats" Waller came from a Harlem household where his father was a Baptist lay preacher and his mother played piano and organ. Waller took up the piano at age six, playing in a school orchestra led by Edgar Sampson of Chick Webb fame. After his mother died when he was 14, Waller moved into the home of pianist Russell Brooks, where he met and studied with James P. Later, Waller also received classical lessons from Carl Bohm and the famous pianist Leopold Godowsky.
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He began to attract attention as a composer during the early- and mid-'20s, forming a most fruitful alliance with lyricist Andy Razaf that resulted in three Broadway shows in the late '20s, Keep Shufflin', Load of Coal, and Hot Chocolates. Waller started making records for Victor in ; his most significant early records for that label were a series of brilliant solo piano sides of his own compositions like "Handful of Keys" and "Smashing Thirds. He toured Europe in , made organ recordings in London for HMV, and appeared on one of the first television broadcasts.
He returned to London the following spring to record his most extensive composition, "London Suite" for piano and percussion, and embark on an extensive continental tour which, alas, was canceled by fears of impending war with Germany. Well aware of the popularity of big bands in the '30s, Waller tried to form his own, but they were short-lived.
Into the s, Waller 's touring schedule of the U.
Years of draining alimony squabbles, plus overindulgence and, no doubt, frustration over not being taken more seriously as an artist, began to wear the pianist down. He never made it, dying of pneumonia aboard the train during a stop at Union Station in Kansas City. While every clown longs to play Hamlet as per the cliche -- and Waller did have so-called serious musical pretensions, longing to follow in George Gershwin 's footsteps and compose concert music -- it probably was not in the cards anyway due to the racial barriers of the first half of the 20th century.
Besides, given the fact that Waller influenced a long line of pianists of and after his time, including Count Basie who studied with Fats , Teddy Wilson , Art Tatum , Thelonious Monk , Dave Brubeck and countless others, his impact has been truly profound.
- Fats Waller - Wikipedia.
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Resurrecting Fats - The Atlantic
Lorman, Thank you very much for your very very kind words on my books. Great to know you like them!
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Stride: The Music of Fats Waller
Avvertimi via email alla pubblicazione di un nuovo articolo. Questo sito usa Akismet per ridurre lo spam. Scopri come i tuoi dati vengono elaborati. Riccardo Scivales Pianista, didatta e musicologo Archiviato in: Arrangiamenti , Libri , News , Trascrizioni Etichettato con: arrangement , Fats Waller , harlem , riccardo scivales , stride piano , swing piano. Commenti Reed james dice.