Fats Waller

Honeysuckle Rose [BCD]

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An entry in the Spanish BCD label's Maestros del Jazz series, Honeysuckle Rose is a 16-track selection of Fats Waller recordings from the mid-1930s that give a good sense of the material recorded by his group, Fats Waller and His Rhythm, for RCA Victor. There is plenty of good small-band jazz here, even though these are essentially commercial sessions on which Waller frequently performs pop standards. As usual, he has a lot of fun mugging and sending up the lyrics while also leaving room for soloists like Al Casey and James Smith on guitar, Rudy Powell and Eugene Sedric on clarinet, and Herman Autrey and Bill Coleman on trumpet, to have their say. This is only a sampling of the prolific band's output, and there are many competing anthologies of Waller's work, but this collection works well as a miniature portrait of Waller and his band in full cry.

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