Fats on Friday -Jitterbug Waltz

Thanks to Dominik Feri

The Jitterbug Waltz was composed by Fats Waller in early 1942. Fats then recorded this record March 16, 1942. Although it really doesn’t sound much like it, this is a thirteen piece band. That is twice the usual size for Fats. My source for the recording details, Fat’s son Maurice, had Fats playing piano on this record but he is clearly playing a Hammond, or other electric organ.

The other personnel included Courtney Williams, John Hamiltron, and Joe Thomas on trumpet; Herb Fleming and George Wilson, trombone; Bob Carroll, Lawrence Fields, and G. R. James, tenor sax; Al Casey, guitar; Cedric Wallace, bass; Arthur Trappier, drums; and Gene Sedric, reeds.

Some of the commenters on You Tube suggest that Fats borrowed from Debussy’s Arabesque No. 1. I don’t hear that at all, I listened to both pieces especially since it’s been a long time since I heard the Debussy piece. Not even remotely similar to my ears, but I like them both very much. The Jitterbug Waltz was Fats’s last big hit.


About Richard Rollo

I am a retired Community College Instructor. I taught Political Science 1 American Government for 22 years in Southern California. I am originally from Northern Minnesota. My earliest years were spent in the living quarters of a rural Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific Railway Depot. Then my family joined the great 1950's migration to Southern California where I joined up with fellow baby boomers in overcrowded schools.
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