Pat Flowers

I Ain't Got Nobody

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Pat Flowers always considered Fats Waller (who he knew well) to be his idol. But despite being a talented pianist and a personable singer himself, Flowers made relatively few recordings during his career: two titles in 1941, a good amount during 1944-47, four songs in 1956, one title on a late '60s sampler and this LP. Consisting of five numbers from an extensive but otherwise unreleased date in 1972 (with guitarist Jimmy Shirley, bassist Al Hall and drummer Tommy Benford) and nine songs from 1975 (with Shirley, bassist Slam Stewart and drummer Jackie Williams), this fairly late album (Flowers was in his mid 50s) does give one a definitive look at the entertainer. Flowers performs tunes associated with Waller, James P. Johnson and the swing era, plus, contributes two originals, "Salute to James P." and "I Got Rhythm." His piano playing at this point was better than his so-so singing, but the album (which has not yet been reissued on CD) is worth picking up by vintage jazz collectors.