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Fats Waller Complete Recorded Works

Fats Waller: Messin’ Around with the Blues (The Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1) (JSP, 2007) [recorded between 1922 and 1926]

James P. Johnson’s apprentice, Waller was the man who developed his mentor’s ideas, brought them to a worldwide audience, and—crucially—wrote them down. His virtuosity and melodic genius are on ample display in these recordings. Even more prominent, though, is his showmanship: wild, cascading flourishes, musical witticisms, and a rollicking swing whose every note telegraphs fun. MICHAEL J. WEST

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