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FATS WALLER

Thomas Waller
Composer, Pianist
(1904-1943)

Fats Waller was a child prodigy who studied piano with virtuoso jazz pianist/composer James P. Johnson. He was a larger-than-life entertainer of huge appetites who approached his compositions from the viewpoint of a jazzman, creating swinging melodies and beautiful chord changes.

His first published composition, with lyrics by Jo Trent, was “In Harlem’s Araby” from 1924. The following year he had his first hit with “Squeeze Me,” lyrics credited to Clarence Williams but possibly written by Andy Razaf. His most fruitful collaboration was with lyricist Razaf, whose mother considered Waller her “other son.” They produced a string of hits in 1929, among them “Honeysuckle Rose,” “Black and Blue (What Did I Do to Be So Black and Blue),” “I’ve Got a Feeling I’m Falling,” and “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” made famous by many artists including Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong. The hits continued with “Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now” (1932), “The Joint Is Jumpin’” (1940), and “Jitterbug Waltz” (1942). There has been controversy over the authorship of some of his compositions because he was known to occasionally sell songs to other writers to pay off his debts.

Waller was an important recording artist of the late-1920s up until his death in 1943. His early recording career included piano solos, freelance jazz band work, and accompanying vocalists. In 1935 he formed his own band, Fats Waller and His Rhythm, with which he recorded hundreds of titles for Victor Records. In addition to his successful band work, Fats was able to record a number of stunning piano solos while under contract to Victor.

Waller is considered to be the “grandfather of jazz organ.” He played pipe organ in his father’s church, for vaudeville shows and silent films, and made recordings on both pipe and Hammond organs. He brought his own technique to the instrument and made it swing.

The 1978 Broadway tribute to his music, Ain’t Misbehavin’, won a Tony for Best Musical and ran for 1,604 performances.

-- Sandra Burlingame

Courtesy of JazzStandards.com

View by Role: Non-Classical Artist | Non-Classical Composer
Role: Non-Classical Artist 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
Commercial Grooves: Nostalgic Tracks from TV Adverts Naxos Nostalgia
8.120798
Nostalgia
GIANTS OF JAZZ Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120756-57
Jazz
HARLEM ROOTS, Vol. 2 - The Headliners (NTSC) Storyville Films
26001
Jazz DVD
JAZZ LEGENDS - Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Glenn Miller Naxos Jazz Legends
8.102002
Jazz
LEWIS, Ted: Is Everybody Happy? (1923-1931) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120770
Jazz
WALLER, Fats: A Handful of Fats - Classic Hits (1929-1942) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120760
Jazz
WALLER, Fats: Transcriptions (1935) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120577
Jazz
WALLER, Fats: Transcriptions (1939) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120692
Jazz

Role: Non-Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
ARMSTRONG, Louis: Heebie Jeebies (1925-1930) (Louis Armstrong, Vol. 1) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120541
Jazz
ARMSTRONG, Louis: I've Got The World On A String (1930-1933) (Louis Armstrong, Vol. 2) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120609
Jazz
ARMSTRONG, Louis: Jeepers Creepers (1938-1939) (Louis Armstrong, Vol. 5) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120815
Jazz
ARMSTRONG, Louis: Sing It, Satchmo (1945-1955) (Louis Armstrong, Vol. 8) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120818
Jazz
ARMSTRONG, Louis: Stop Playing Those Blues (1946-1947) (Louis Armstrong, Vol. 7) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120817
Jazz
BECHET, Sidney: House Party (1943-1952) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120741
Jazz
BECHET, Sidney: Shake It And Break It (1938-1941) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120699
Jazz
BEIDERBECKE, Bix: Riverboat Shuffle (1924-1929) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120584
Jazz
BIGBANDS LIVE - Benny Goodman Orchestra featuring Anita O’Day (1959) Jazzhaus
101704
Jazz
BLUE VELVET - 60 Nostalgia All Time Classics Naxos Nostalgia
8.103018
Nostalgia
COMO, Perry: Some Enchanted Evening (1939-1949) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120599
Nostalgia
DE LUCA, Dennis: Not What You Think Naxos Jazz
9504
Contemporary Jazz
DORSEY BROTHERS: Stop, Look And Listen (1932-1935) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120762
Jazz
GIANTS OF JAZZ Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120756-57
Jazz
GOODMAN, Benny: Sing, Sing, Sing (1937-1940) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120768
Jazz
GRAPPELLI, Stephane: Swing from Paris (1935-1943) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120688
Jazz
HAWKINS, Coleman: Body and Soul (1933-1949) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120532
Jazz
HAWKINS, Coleman: Hawk In the 30s (1933-1939) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120626
Jazz
HENDERSON, Fletcher: Blue Rhythm (1931-1933) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120672
Jazz
HINES, Earl: The Earl (1928-1941) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120581
Jazz
JAZZ LEGENDS - Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Glenn Miller Naxos Jazz Legends
8.102002
Jazz
Jazzin Legeanat - 60 kaikkien aikojen klassikkoa Naxos Jazz Legends
8.103014
Jazz
REINHARDT, Django: Django Reinhardt (1938-1939) (Reinhardt, Vol. 2) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120575
Jazz
REINHARDT, Django: Swing Guitars (1936-1937) (Reinhardt, Vol. 3) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120686
Jazz
SCHMID, Beni: Obsession - Hommage a Grappelli Oehms Classics
OC554
Contemporary Jazz
SHORE, Dinah: Dinah Shore (1939-1951) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120659
Nostalgia
SMITH, Bessie: Preachin' the Blues (1925-1927) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120702
Blues
TATUM: Improvisations Naxos
8.559130
Instrumental
UNITED STATES NAVY STEEL BAND: Steel Appeal, 30th Anniversary Altissimo
75442262982
Chamber Music
VAUGHAN, Sarah: Live in '58 and '64 (NTSC) Naxos
2.119004
Jazz DVD
WALLER, Fats: A Handful of Fats - Classic Hits (1929-1942) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120760
Jazz
WALLER, Fats: Transcriptions (1935) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120577
Jazz
WALLER, Fats: Transcriptions (1939) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120692
Jazz
WALLER: 16 Great Piano Solos, 1929-1941, Transcribed by Paul Posnak Naxos
8.554245
Instrumental
WHITEMAN, Paul: Sweet and Low Down (1925-1928) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120628
Nostalgia
Wind Music - LE JEUNE, C. / JONES, C. / ROBERTS, W. / WASHBURN, R. / FINE, I. (Five By Five) (United States Air Force Tactical Air Command Band) Altissimo
75442262542
Chamber Music





 
 
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