Sunday, June 25, 2006

Ain't Misbehavin'

A discussion on internet (78-list) brings good old Fats Waller back in spotlight. Most visitors of the list adore him - some name him an overrated pianist and dislike his ugly and unjazzy voice.

In my 20s I was a great fan of his music and the way he performed in his shows and concerts. I collected all his records ( RCA Black and White series) and as I didn't had much money to spend, collecting was for me gathering these LPs on my reel-to-reel recorder.

Some years ago, Julian, I found the two RCA Fats Waller Memorial boxes ( in the 1970s the boxes were much to expensive for me) and I was tempted to buy it although I had all the music on tape already.

I remember the first time that I saw the four Fats Waller soundies.
That was an exiting experience for a young adult.
It must have been at the Cineac in Rotterdam (a movie-theatre) and it was billed as Ain't Misbehavin'
I don't remember details of that film, but it was a clumsy compilation exploiting current attitudes to nostalgia and sex, utilising clips from features, shorts and newsreels ( from Jazz In The Movies - David Meeker). It contained the Waller clips and some more entertainers. I remember especially the sex scenes as it did fascinate me as a young adult and so the music of Fats Waller got an extra dimension for me !!

UK 1974 – f dir Peter Neal, Anthony Stern
Songs: (recorded): "Honeysuckle Rose" byAndy Razaf, Fats Waller, "Ain’t misbehavin’"by Andy Razaf, Fats Waller, Harry Brooks,performed by Fats Waller; "Ain’t gonna beyour dog" performed by Meade Lux Lewis;"Cabaret echoes" performed by AnthonyParenti’s Famous Melody Boys; "I’m a shyguy" by and performed by Nat King Cole; "Boogie Woogie" performed by Albert Ammons; "Please be kind" by Sammy Cahn, SaulChaplin, "The man I love" by Ira and GeorgeGershwin, performed by Django Reinhardt; "Londonola" performed by Roy Fox and hisOrchestra.
(Source: Jazz In The Movies - David Meeker)

Enjoy the short film Ain't Misbehavion' by clicking on the title bar;

Fats Waller (p,vcl) with: John Hamilton (tp) Gene Sedric (cl,ts) Al Casey (g) Cedric Wallace (b) Slick Jones (d)
Recorded RCA studios, New York City, September 26, 1941
4607 Ain't misbehavin'

Source: "Fats In Fact" by Laurie Wright. In my opinion the best biographical discography of Fats Waller - a must for all Waller fans.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hans, all I know is that all this talk about Fats Waller made me buy 4 LP's worth of material this week (2 USA Bluebird 2 LP set reissues), though some of the Rhythm sessions were casual to a fault, there is plenty gold in them hills (and not just from a jazz point of biew). I am curious, how Waller's music transcends jazz listeners in the same way Louis Armsrtong's All Stars and Preservation Hall's bands do, and what is in the more commercial avenues of traditional jazz that appeal to people in a way more modern forms do not, I believe both Waller and Armsrtong knew (and certainly Glaser, Kirkeby and the manager and sometimes tuba player Al Jaffe of Preservation Hall all knew this as well), and maybe it's the beyond jazz element that captures the imigination of so many with Waller (a friend of mine favorite record is "I'm On A Seesaw" and see Fat's vocal as sweet, and she rarely responds to most of my obessions in jazz collecting), and I belive, though I may bicker of how much better the records could have been, they might not of sold as many records, and Fats' would have been the poorer for it, one never knows, does one? (would love comments on this) Yves

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Yves for your comment.

As you might know Waller was a big consumer of booze. A visitor of one of his live concerts ones told me that in the early 1940s he sometimes was so drunk that whatever tune he started, they all finished as Ain't Misbehavin'.


8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've loved Fats Waller since I was in my teens (and I'm in my mid-sixties now). A bubbly, happy music! However, while I have "Fats in Fact," reading between the lines it seems Wright has an underlying hostility toward his subject.

2:55 PM  

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