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Album Review

This is a long-forgotten but very worthy Fats Waller tribute performed by a septet led and arranged by pianist Dick Wellstood. With Zoot Sims on tenor, both Ed Polcer and John Bucher playing cornets, guitarist Al Casey (who was a regular member of Waller's bands 35 years earlier), bassist Major Holley, drummer Panama Francis, Wellstood and the seemingly ageless singer Jane Harvey, this is a particularly rewarding session. The group performs ten songs associated with Waller including "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter," "I Can't Give You Anything But Love," "Honeysuckle Rose" and "Ain't Misbehavin'." The ensembles resembles one of Waller's bands, Wellstood had long assimilated Fats' musical language into his own distinctive style and Jane Harvey sounds wonderful. Well worth searching for.


Genre: Jazz

One of the two great stride pianists (along with Ralph Sutton) to emerge during the 1940s when members of their generation were generally playing bebop, Wellstood kept an open mind toward later styles (he loved Monk) while sounding at his best playing classic jazz. A little more subtle than Sutton, Wellstood was also a powerful pianist who was a superb interpreter of the music of James P. Johnson and his contemporaries. He came to New York with Bob Wilber's Wildcats in 1946 and caught on in the trad...
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Fats Waller Revisited, Dick Wellstood & His Friends of Fats With Jane Harvey
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