Fats on Friday — I’m Crazy ‘Bout My Baby

Thanks to mymusicdiscovery for the You Tube.

I’ve never heard of this version before, but it sounds like a transcription of a radio broadcast.   The poster didn’t name his source. Fats Waller was a master of the piano and a master of the ad lib of lyrics.

The Bluebird version I have in my collection was originally recorded August 1, 1936.

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Art Tatum – Stars Fell On Alabama

Thanks to #Art Tatum-Topic for the You Tube

Stars Fell On Alabama is from the Complete Pablo Solo Masterpieces recorded by Norman Granz in the early 1950’s rereleased on compact disc Vol. 5.  This was written music by Frank Perkins lyrics by Mitchell Parrish.  It was first recorded by Guy Lombardo with vocal by brother Carmen in 1934.  Afterwards it was recorded and performed by everyone from Jack Teagarden to John Coltrane.  What Tatum shows us in his version is that the stride bass piano can be  moving in a slow, soft  ballad style as well as dazzling in a speedy piece of music.

The title of the song comes from a book of the same name written by Carl Carmer about a meteor shower observed in Alabama in November, 1833.  For more, see this Wikipedia entry.

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Bix — Two musical sides

Thanks to Tim Gracyk

That was Bix’s version of Sorry, recorded in 1927.  The record features Bix on cornet, Bill Rank on trombone, Don Murray on clarinet, Adrian Rollini on bass sax, Frank Signorelli on piano, and Chauncey Morehouse on drums. This recording was a high point in his career.

Bix Beiderbecke (cornet) along with Louis Armstrong (trumpet) were the two major figures to come out of the brass section on the 1920‘s hot jazz bands.  Both made pioneering records for the Gennett Records Company.  Louis Armstrong had the happier of the two stories; he lived into the 1970‘s and had evolved into more of a popular music figure.  In later life, he even managed to knock the Beatles out of the number 1 spot on the record sales charts.

Bix had a much shorter and  sadder story.  He had become an alcoholic in the 1920‘s when alcohol was illegal and dangerous.  Bix died in 1931 at age 28 from the effects of prolonged alcoholism.  But, he developed a hard core of fans dedicated to preserving his memory, with annual revivals in his home town of Davenport, Iowa.    Bix also has a following in Europe thanks to the Italian director Pupi Avanti and his 1990 biopic, Bix.

Bix could not read music, but he learned to play the piano by ear and came up with several compositions, which his friend Bill Challis transcribed into sheet music.  Some of his compositions have been compared to Maurice Ravel.   The following Dick Hyman’s wonderful performance on his CD Thinking About Bix of  Bix’s In the Dark:

Thanks to MookRyan and Thinking About Bix

 

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Fats on Friday — Truckin’

Thanks to Dominick Feri for the You Tube

Truckin’ was recorded August 2, 1935.  The song was written by Koehler and Bloom.  Herman Autrey, Trumpet; Rudy Powell, Reeds; James Smith, Guitar; Charles Turner, DBass; Arnold Bolling, Drums; Fats, Piano and Vocal.  During the late 1960’s,  this song was supposedly the inspiration for Robert Crumb’s poster “Keep on Truckin'”.Crumb said later on he regretted that poster, mostly because it had caught on at the time with the “wrong people.”   Originally, in the 1930’s, it was a dance craze.

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Art Tatum – My One and Only Love

Thanks to jim hh for the youtube

My One and Only Love was written by  George and Ira Gershwin.  This performance is from the Art Tatum Pablo Group Masterpieces Compact Disc edition disc  6  cut   7 .  The players are Ben Webster on tenor, Red Callender on bass, Bill Douglass on drums, and Art on piano.  Ben Webster and Art Tatum.  To call this record a Masterpiece is not hype.  These were great musicians playing a great song.  Ben Webster was one of the all time great tenor sax players.   Art Tatum manages to dazzle us while not spoiling the ballad character of the tune.

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Bud Freeman — You’re My Everything

Thanks to okmusik of the You Tube

This marvelous  tune was You’re My Everything (1931) Harry Warren Music  and Mort Dixon Lyric.  The performance is from a recording issued on LP originally  in 1955 titled “Midnight at Eddie Condon’s with Bud Freeman’s All Stars.”  It took me some time and effort to track down an actual copy of the LP because it is long out of print, it was never reissued on CD, and only used copies are available, mostly in Europe.  Worse yet, the credits on the LP cover are no help. The You Tube poster wisely chose not the mess with the issue.

This LP was recorded  at a tavern in New York City that Eddie Condon owned and managed.  Eddie Condon also played rhythm guitar, organized recording sessions including sessions with Commodore Records.  His roots in music went back to the early 1920’s in Chicago.  So did Bud Freeman who was one of the original “Austin Gang” who formed bands at Austin High School in Chicago, Illinois.  These were loose sessions on this LP, which united old friends in an after hours setting where they could unwind.   Whoever was there that night sat in with the band.

Unfortunately, the credits on the LP cover don’t reflect who played on which cut.  So, I’ll just have to guess going from most to least certain.  We definitely have Bud Freeman on Tenor Sax.  My ears clearly tell me that we have Charlie Shavers on Trumpet and no one else is listed.  Since only Vernon Brown is listed on Trombone, I’ll go with that.  I lean toward Peanuts Hucko on Clarinet but it could also be Edmond Hall (who usually sounds softer than this player.) Wild Bill Davis is listed on piano but I’ve never heard him play anything but Hammond Organ.  So, I’ll go with Joe Sullivan on piano who plays stride piano somewhat  like Fats Waller with a dash of Earl Hines.  On Drums it could be Dave Tough or George Wettling.   We’ll probably never know for sure.

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Fats Waller- Lulu’s Back in Town

Thanks to MusicProf78

Lulu’s Back in Town was written by  Al Dubin and Harry Warren for the film Broadway Gondolier.  This version by Fats was  recorded in 1935.  Personnel included:  Herman Autrey, Trumpet; Rudy Powell, reeds; Al Casey, Guitar;  Charles Turner, bass; Harry Dial, drums; Fats, piano and vocal.

Although the song wasn’t written for Fats, this version by Fats is unbeatable.

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The Big Shut Up Is Available

ShutUp4

My Novella, The Big Shut Upis  available as a Kindle app from Amazon.

By the way, in case  you didn’t know, you don’t need an actual Kindle device to read my books.  Amazon offers  free reading apps for other platforms and devices.  And, I want to thank all of those who have bought my books.   For more information, please check it out here.

7-11-16:  Most of The Big Shut Up came to me in various dreams.  Dreams come from that part of the symphony of the mind that lies beyond our conscious control.   As such, I claim no special powers, but the theme of the breakdown of law and values that came from the depths of my consciousness is now coming to a head almost one year later.

Update 08-27-2018: As of today, we now have over 7800 subscribers.  Thank you all very much!

 

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Art Tatum – Moonglow

Thanks to bluesinorbit for the You Tube

Moonglow was written by Will Hudson, Irving Mills, and Eddie DeLange.  This version was recorded in 1955 by Norman Granz.  I have my copy on the Art Tatum  Solo Masterpieces on Pablo CD Disc Seven selection 5.  Another impromptu sonata by the master on a popular song of his time.

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Benny Goodman Quartet — Moonglow

Thanks to Ethan J Symonds for the You Tube

The most famous version of Moonglow was by Benny Goodman Quartet in 1936 with Goodman on Clarinet, Lionel Hamption, vibes; Teddy Wilson, piano; and Gene Krupa on drums.

This is my favorite Goodman performance.   Lionel Hampton was the greatest vibes player of all time.  Moonglow was written by Will Hudson, Irving Mills, and Eddie DeLange.

This was one of the period songs featured in Martin Scorsese’s  movie Aviator based on the life of Howard Hughes.   On my trip back and forth across the U.S. this past summer, one of my stops was at the Evergreen Aerospace Museum at McMinnville, Oregon where  the infamous “Spruce Goose” is housed.  The proper name for the airplane is the Hughes H-4 Hercules.  I missed my chance to see it when it was housed in Long Beach, California.  It is a stupendously large airplane.  For more on H-4, see the link.

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