Release Date: 08/19/08
Fats Wows Europe
In this fifth volume of our Fats Waller edition, Fats takes rare trips overseas. Fats' audiences were falling in the US. Europe was an obvious refuge. Fats' asking price was an unprecedented $2500 a week. The British accepted the figure without hesitation. Fats' first appearance was in Glasgow - a tough town. To up the ante, Fats wore a kilt for his first show. They'd either love him or hate him. It was love. An audience of 2100 called him back for ten curtain calls. A week later, he did the same at the London Palladium. After the Palladium date, Fats recorded at HMV's Abbey Road. Jazz-inspired players were called in. One broke off his honeymoon to play with Fats. A week after his first UK session, Fats was at the Abbey Road organ to cut a sequence of spirituals. He finished in tears. Across the Channel he was as feted as he had been in Britain. His spiritual records had reached France and he was asked to play them in Notre Dame. Fats then started a royal progress, marred by problems in Germany. Hitler's saber-rattling became so worrying that the tour was canceled. Fats went home. So to the famous October 13th session. With the four confidently struck chords that open Two Sleepy People, Fats seems to be saying I'm back! And with his regular band in terrific form, he was. Europe could rout out a decent group of session players, but they'd rarely duplicate this casual virtuosity. The round of touring and recording continued. So great were Europe's attractions, that Fats made another Transatlantic trip, where again, he made some historic 'serious' recordings that might not have been considered in the US. Those recordings are here. Make your own judgment. Fats returned to a US that welcomed him. The grueling treadmill resumed. The last sides here are less famous than Fats' showcase material, but no worse for that. On Oh Frenchy the whole band reveals its New Orleans side - the finale a call-to-arms that would soon be sounded for real.
|Label: Jsp Records|
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