Fats Waller was a vocalist, composer, even a comedian and satirist, but most importantly, he was a phenomenally gifted piano player, and his smooth stride style always sounds fresh and vital. This delightful two-disc overview of his career spotlights all the aspects of his immense talent, as a singer (check out the hypercharged version of George and Ira Gershwin's "I Got Rhythm" or the assured "I'm Crazy 'Bout My Baby"), organist (his light, breezy approach is featured on "Soothin' Syrup Stomp"), composer (the classic "Ain't Misbehavin'" is included here in the version that was used on the soundtrack to the 1943 film Stormy Weather), and solo pianist ("African Ripples," "Viper's Drag," and a fine version of James P. Johnson's "Carolina Shout"). Few performers in the history of jazz, or in the pop realm for that matter, have been able to combine such musical brilliance with such a steady, fun, and crowd-pleasing manner, traits that made Waller the prototypical entertainer. This is joyous music. Nothing will chase away a gray day faster than a Fats Waller collection, and this is a very good one at a decent price.