Fats Waller

Us on a Bus

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Here's a nice sampling of early- to mid-period Fats, bringing together 18 tracks recorded between 1934 and 1938. The early sides, like "You're Not the Only Oyster in the Stew," "Mandy," "Honeysuckle Rose," and "Believe It, Beloved," are Waller at his conversational best, and while the tune list is top-heavy with songs from outside writers, Fats bends them all to his inimitable style. A special bonus is the presence of Mezz Mezzrow on clarinet and alto sax on the first three tracks. Not a greatest-hits package by a long shot, but a nice one to get after you've absorbed the hits.

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