Fats Waller

Ain't Misbehavin' [Prism]

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"The tracks featured have been re-mastered from radio transcriptions," reads a legend on the back cover of this entry in British discount label Prism Leisure's The Jazz Masters Series. And that's all the information on sources you get for this 22-track collection of Fats Waller performances on Ain't Misbehavin' [Prism]. But if you examine other Prism Leisure releases, you will discover that the contents of this disc are identical to those of an earlier release, Dance Hall Days: Phenomenal Fats, with the addition of two lengthy tracks at the end of which Waller strings together several different songs. For the rest, the singer/pianist, usually accompanied by a band, is his exuberant self, singing, playing, and mugging his way through a variety of material. On "St. Louis Blues" and "After You've Gone," he duets on piano with Bennie Paine. On "Shortnin' Bread," his comic performance gets sufficiently risqué -- he seems about to sing the word "ass" but doesn't -- so that you wonder what radio station of the 1930s or '40s was likely to play the track. But it's all in fun, and there's plenty of good playing here. Unfortunately, the sound quality is substandard, and along with the nonexistent annotations (a new set of brief, generic liner notes doesn't help), that makes for a minor collection only of interest to completists.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:51
2 2:52
3 3:10
4 3:35
5 3:04
6 3:35
7 2:31
8 3:14
9 2:36
10 3:01
11 3:18
12 2:42
13 3:23
feat: Benny Payne
15 2:41
16 3:14
17 3:15
feat: Benny Payne
19 2:42
20 4:38
21 7:28
22 6:18
blue highlight denotes track pick