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Fats Waller Revisited - Dick Wellstood and 'His Friends of Fats'

Dick Wellstood was one of the very best stride pianists to emerge in the late 1940s, a time when Bud Powell and bebop were permanently changing jazz. Wellstood’s inspirations were Fats Waller, James P. Johnson and Willie “The Lion” Smith although he also occasionally played more modern types of jazz and enjoyed Thelonious Monk. On Fats Waller Revisited, one great stride pianist pays tribute to another. Waller was actually more than one of jazz’s most masterful pianists for he was also a superior songwriter, jazz’s first organist, a fine singer and a comic personality. He lived several lifetimes in his 39 years while always making everyone around him happy.


Dick Wellstood proves to be the perfect leader for Fats Waller Revisited, taking solos that emulate Fats Waller but in his own witty personality. Co-starring is singer Jane Harvey, on her finest jazz date, sounding at her best on “I’ve Got A Feeling I’m Falling,” “S’posin’” and “Two Sleepy People.” Also making strong contributions are Zoot Sims, Kenny Davern and Waller alumnus guitarist Al Casey. The nine songs, which include “Honeysuckle Rose” and “Ain’t Misbehavin,’” were all either written by or associated with Fats Waller. He would have loved this happy jam.

SKU: CJ15

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Details

Details

I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter I've Got a Feeling I'm Falling Squeeze Me S'Posin' Two Sleepy People Ain't Misbehavin' (I'm Saving My Love For You) Honeysuckle Rose I Can't Give You Anything But Love It's A Sin To Tell A Lie

Additional Info

Additional Info

Format: Jazz Record
Soloist/Artist Dick Wellstood
Instruments Music and Musicians
Composer No
Accompanist/ Conductor Zoot Sims, tenor sax; Ed Polcer, trumpet 1; John Bucher, trumpet 2; Al Casey, guitar; Kenny Davern, clarinet; "Major" Holley, bass; Tommy Benford, drums; Jane Harvey, vocals
SKU CJ15

Reviews

Customer Reviews (5)

"Terriific Revisit!"Review by Big Toots
Quality
CJ 15 Fats Waller Revisited - Dick Wellstood and His “Friends of Fats” with Jane Harvey on Vocals

Fats Waller was once kidnapped at gunpoint in Chicago and taken to a private birthday party where gangster Al Capone was the birthday boy and Waller the “entertainment.” I won’t, however, need any handgun coercion to tell you that “Fats Waller Revisited” is a rollicking good time and one Hell of a great recording.

Pianist Dick Wellstood, a stride expert if there ever was one, leads fine vocalist Jane Harvey and “Friends of Fats” (including cornetist Ed Polcer, Zoot Sims, and “Major” Holley) over nine wonderfully upbeat Waller originals. The recording is a fine tribute to Waller and, with a swinging and highly involved All-Star team such as these fine players, the entire party is a gasser.

Vocalist Jane Harvey demos a terrific, swinging voice with a penchant for laying back off the beat. Her rhythmic style is ideal for the “happy” and exuberant music Waller sent up (“I’ve Got a Feeling I’m Falling”). She is supreme throughout irrespective of tempo (“Two Sleepy People,” “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love”). Wellstood, who left us way too soon, is impeccable here, with marvelous and very swinging striding (“I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’”). Polcer, a very underappreciated swinger, is all Louis with a terrific cornet sound and effortless fluidity all around the horn (“I Can’t give You Anything But Love”). “Major” Holley adds that unique “scat-along” bass style (“S’posin’”) and Tommy Benford’s drums keep the locomotive steaming (“It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie”).

According to legend, the cigar-smoking Waller made thousands of dollars in tips playing for “Big Al’s” birthday. The best tip here is to get your hands on this outstanding “Revisit.” It’s a party in and of itself. Go ahead - smoke if you’ve got ‘em!
(Posted on 6/8/2015)
"Terriific Revisit!"Review by Big Toots
Quality
CJ 15 Fats Waller Revisited - Dick Wellstood and His “Friends of Fats” with Jane Harvey on Vocals

Fats Waller was once kidnapped at gunpoint in Chicago and taken to a private birthday party where gangster Al Capone was the birthday boy and Waller the “entertainment.” I won’t, however, need any handgun coercion to tell you that “Fats Waller Revisited” is a rollicking good time and one Hell of a great recording.

Pianist Dick Wellstood, a stride expert if there ever was one, leads fine vocalist Jane Harvey and “Friends of Fats” (including cornetist Ed Polcer, Zoot Sims, and “Major” Holley) over nine wonderfully upbeat Waller originals. The recording is a fine tribute to Waller and, with a swinging and highly involved All-Star team such as these fine players, the entire party is a gasser.

Vocalist Jane Harvey demos a terrific, swinging voice with a penchant for laying back off the beat. Her rhythmic style is ideal for the “happy” and exuberant music Waller sent up (“I’ve Got a Feeling I’m Falling”). She is supreme throughout irrespective of tempo (“Two Sleepy People,” “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love”). Wellstood, who left us way too soon, is impeccable here, with marvelous and very swinging striding (“I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’”). Polcer, a very underappreciated swinger, is all Louis with a terrific cornet sound and effortless fluidity all around the horn (“I Can’t give You Anything But Love”). “Major” Holley adds that unique “scat-along” bass style (“S’posin’”) and Tommy Benford’s drums keep the locomotive steaming (“It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie”).

According to legend, the cigar-smoking Waller made thousands of dollars in tips playing for “Big Al’s” birthday. The best tip here is to get your hands on this outstanding “Revisit.” It’s a party in and of itself. Go ahead - smoke if you’ve got ‘em!
(Posted on 6/8/2015)
Fats Waller RevisitedReview by By - Scott Yanow
Quality
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. (Posted on 8/13/2014)
Dick Wellstood and His Friends of Fats Waller RevistedReview by Simon Sez
Quality
A great stride pianist who would have been much better known if he had come up in the 1920s rather than the 1950s (which would have been difficult since he was born in 1927), Dick Wellstood was a master no matter what period he was around. Fats Waller was always an inspiration for him although Wellstood also liked Monk and other more modern pianists.
On Fats Waller Revisited, Wellstood does Fats justice. His band includes Zoot Sims, Kenny Davern, Al Casey (who played guitar with Waller in the 1930s) and the delightful singer Jane Harvey. Not too surprisingly, they perform songs on this album that Fats Waller used to enjoy playing including several that he wrote himself. Since they love Waller’s music, it all works out very well.

Simon Sez: Dick Wellstood’s Fats Waller Revisited (CJ15) has the great pianist paying tribute to Fats with Jane Harvey and an all-star band.
(Posted on 5/6/2014)
Review by -Scott Yanow
Quality
Fats Waller Revisited is not only a tribute to the immortal Waller but a superior showcase for Jane Harvey and an opportunity for a group of fine musicians to bring back some of Fats' best songs." (Posted on 6/12/2013)

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