With his grammatically outlandish "One Never Knows, Do One?" and other malapropisms, the one and only Fats Waller was doing Yogi Berraisms long before Yogi Berra was doing them. This tribute album takes Waller's music and puts it in a traditional jazz (U.K. style) framework while keeping intact the sometimes ribald swing that characterized this larger-than-life man's own works and his performance of tunes of others he was well known for. The result is more than 70 minutes of listenable jazz music, which, while not quite up to the standard Waller set, nevertheless comes close. While the English jazzman Geoff Cole is the leader on the set, it's Pat Hawes' piano and occasional vocals on such tunes as "Curse of an Aching Heart" that strengthens the link to Waller. Hawes' piano work on "Black and Blue" with the Freddy Gardner-like sax of Tony Pyke make this a premiere track. Cole's Kid Ory-fashioned trombone provides the structure for the set. The muted trombone soulful solo on "Honey Hush" is especially arresting. His vocals on "Truckin'" and "Ain't Misbehavin'" come close to capturing Waller's satirical way with a tune. From time to time, Cole lays on a Waller-like quip at the end of a tune. But this is not the Cole/Hawes show by any means. In addition to his sax work, another U.K. musician. Tony Pyke. gets in an admirable clarinet solo on "Lulu's Back in Town" and a haunting "Two Sleepy People." All in all, this is an album revealing another perspective of Waller that is credible and enjoyable.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Nathan