Release Date: 02/19/08
Fats Settles in For the Long Haul
If you've encountered Volumes 1, 2 and 3 you'll know that Fats started life running and rarely slowed down. Born in New York in 1904, he showed early signs of the gifts that would sustain him throughout his career - musical skill and unlimited charm. Aged sixteen, he attached himself to the circle of James P Johnson, a leading stride pianist - and traces of the stride style would feature in virtually all Fats' work. He first recorded in 1922. For a time he was used as an accompanist for recording sessions before, in 1926, recording under his own name. From then until his death he was a star whose output and series of hits was unmatched. In 1929, Fats recorded what is generally accepted as the first jazz recording with a band composed of black and white musicians. Routine now, it was revolutionary then. By the time of the opening tracks here, Fats had married Edith, separated (she was in eternal pursuit of him for alimony) and had set up a new household with the more tolerant Anita. He was a leading recording star, appeared frequently on radio and was almost continually taking a show on tour. He had also appeared to good effect in a couple of Hollywood movies. His records sold in North America and throughout the free world. By September 1936, the personnel of Fats' band had settled onto the musicians listed in the discography. There would be few changes from now on. 1936 was spent mainly on the road. Fats was under financial pressure from the IRS and his ex-wife, Edith - it would be difficult to calculate who was the more formidable. In addition, his recording company was constantly pressing for more sessions. If this sounds like a treadmill, it was - justified by the fact that Fats was almost infallible in the recording studio - his bonhomie, invention and virtuosity rarely deserting him.
|Label: Jsp Records|
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