The Best of the War Years
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||Ain't Misbehavin'||Fats Waller||2:32||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||All That Meat and No Potatos||Fats Waller||2:17||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Bouncin' On a V-Disc||Fats Waller||4:41||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Hallelujah!||Fats Waller||1:40||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||It's a Sin to Tell a Lie||Fats Waller||2:57||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Martinique||Fats Waller||1:43||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Oh Frenchy||Fats Waller||3:05||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Slightly Less Than Wonderful||Fats Waller||2:24||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||There's a Gal In My Life||Fats Waller||3:15||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Solitude||Fats Waller||4:32||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child||Fats Waller||4:33||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||This Is So Nice It Must Be Illegal||Fats Waller||2:02||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Two Sleepy People||Fats Waller||3:03||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Waller Jive||Fats Waller||1:09||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Your Feets Too Big||Fats Waller||3:01||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||That Ain't Right||Fats Waller||3:22||$0.99||View In iTunes|
Some listeners might assume that The Best of the War Years is a collection of the most famous recordings that Fats Waller made for RCA Victor during World War II. Most of the material was, in fact, recorded during the Second World War, but not for RCA Victor. The Best of the War Years is actually a collection of V-disc recordings. In the '40s, V-discs were 78s that were pressed for the United States military. They were not sold commercially — V-discs were strictly for the enjoyment of American servicemen overseas — and many well-known jazz artists expressed their patriotism by donating recordings to the V-disc program. Sadly, Waller did not live long enough to see the end of World War II — the good-natured pianist/singer/organist was only 39 when he died of pneumonia on December 15, 1943. Some of this CD's 16 tracks predate World War II and the V-disc program, including a 1936 performance of "It's a Sin to Tell a Lie" and a 1939 version of "Your Feet's Too Big." (In some cases, V-discs did not contain recordings that were made specifically for the V-disc program — they contained unreleased alternate takes or radio broadcasts that the artist donated). Most of the material, however, was recorded at a studio session in September 1943 — only three months before Waller's death — and that includes inspired performances of "Ain't Misbehavin'," "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child," and Duke Ellington's "Solitude." Waller set up that September 1943 session for the sole purpose of providing V-disc recordings; those recordings turned out to be his final studio performances, and they are the work of a true musical giant who was very much on top of his game during the final months of his life.
I love fats!
This isn't the album to buy however. Just because it's iTunes Plus (and higher quality without DRM) doesn't mean the sound is great. It must have been taken from a horrible original. It's scratchy, but I suppose that adds something.
Good performance, bad audio
I downloaded only Ain't Misbehavin'. It's a great rendition by Fats, with wonderful introductory banter. But there is a very nasty buzz in the audio at the very beginning. And it doesn't seem to be from the original 78 RPM, either. It's like a cable connection was loose, then plugged in, then we hear Fats speaking.
Let the buyer beware! But the performance is so magnetic, it's probably worth that annoyance.
Born: May 21, 1904 in New York, NY
Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s