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All Rise: A Joyful Elegy For Fats Waller

19 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 16, 2014
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All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller, is a collaboration with the vocalist Meshell Ndegeocello that recasts the music of the legendary jazz entertainer Fats Waller as a modern dance party. The album which was produced by Ndegeocello and Blue Note Records president Don Was is the ninth in a formidable catalog that Moran has been building on Blue Note since 1999.

'Fats Waller is a special kind of provocateur,' says Moran. 'It stems mainly from the fact that he was a singer as well as a pianist. Sometimes he was like an MC. It has always amazed me that a pianist whose playing was so deep could sing and keep a running commentary of what was going on around him all at the same time.'

All Rise features Moran hosting a changeable cast of musicians that includes vocalists Ndegeocello and Lisa E. Harris, his longtime trio The Bandwagon featuring bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits, and a funky horn-inflected ensemble anchored by drummer Charles Haynes that features trumpeter Leron Thomas and trombonist Josh Roseman, as well as guest saxophonist Steve Lehman. The album was recorded and mixed by Bob Power, known for honing the sound on classic hip hop records by A Tribe Called Quest, Common and The Roots.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 16, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Note
  • ASIN: B00MHS56NO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,764 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Manuel Grosso Galvan on October 9, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Jason Moran say that Fats Waller is a special kind of provocateur. It's true, in this sense, this album is a special kind of provocation. After the first audience I though that thIs Cd was only a way to make his music more modern, but now I think is a very serious work about Fast Waller in all direcctions. It's funny, deep, modern, Waller. Have the seductiviness of the past and the feeling of the present. Jason Moran play electric and acostic piano, and like always, perfect. He tries also different styles from Fat Wallers's classics, is really a joyfull elegy. He play with members of his Bandwagon, and the voice of Ndegeocello and Lisa E Harris and with incedible wind secction.
Great production with a great risk because nobody expected from Moran a CD like this. Is not a game, isn't a comercial produc, is much more of this. Please hear it several tmes before give your opinion, I'm sure that at the end you will agree with me, "All Rise" is a greatalbum. Try it ¡¡¡
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Format: Audio CD
There are a few sparks of the exuberance of Fats Waller's playing, but on the whole this "joyful elegy" misses both the spirit and the brilliant technique of an entertainer who, like Louis Armstrong, was also a complete master of his craft, one of the few musicians for whom the overused word "genius" would be entirely appropriate. "Ain't Misbehavin'," perhaps Fats' best-known song, is anything but "joyful" on the present recording. In fact, the NPR critic may have had this number in mind when he said about "All Rise" that Jason Moran has transformed Fats' energy and prodigious talent into "smooth jazz" (by contrast, Fats played inerrant stride piano at any tempo, occasionally "walking 10ths," all the while improvising around the melody in his right hand and maintaining a constant line of verbal patter, whether winking at the camera or talking to an unseen audience).

As a piano player myself, I'm more forgiving than the NPR critic. Who among living pianists could possibly do justice by the challenging technique perfected by Fats Waller? Oscar Peterson is no longer with us, and though he could play stride piano like Fats (and the late Dave Brubeck could "walk 10ths" in the manner of Fats), neither Oscar nor Dave demonstrated that they could handle this difficult technique for extended periods of time--or that they could carry on even a brief conversation while doing it for a short period of time.

Fats Waller died before the age of 40, and his most brilliant playing was in the late '30s, before the emergence of the first notable bass player--Jimmy Blanton--who was quickly hired and even featured by Duke Ellington in his great band of 1940-42.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James M on November 30, 2014
Format: Audio CD
I think a lot of people miss the boat on what this tribute is all about. We have had musicians play tributes to Duke, Monk and Mingus and most of the time they basically play the compositions how they would have played them, had they written them. It is a "if I were there, this is how I would have played it." For the most part, revisiting history.
If I want to listen to Fats Waller, I play Fats.
This tribute reminds me that Fats was an entertainer, a popular musicians who cared more about his audience than the late night Harlem cutting contest. If Fats were around today, how would he play? How would the music sound? I think this tribute overwhelmingly answers that question, and I may be open to a few more interpretations as we can not have a definitive answer after all, Fats is not here.
This music is head bopping with fat grooves to get your hips swaying and foot thumping. It is not smooth jazz or bubblegum pop. It is a modern, hip hop, funk, groove invested revisit of beautiful tunes from a bygone era. It is fresh and revitalizing.
Jason Moran, Tarus Mateen and Nasheet Waits have been playing together for a long time and there is enough evidence of their chops and modern compositions.
This is not about that. I can see Fats batting eyes, move those eyebrows and say I can see the joint is jumping rather than sitting through a performance and politely clapping each soloist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mikio Miyaki on February 23, 2015
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
All Rise. Offer a silent prayer to the great jazz pianist. The album is a Moran’s homage to Fats Waller. Moran interprets old standards with the present day sensibility. Old songs are back to life as lively danceable tunes again. Listen to the beautifully arranged Jitterbug Waltz. His single tone performance here is ethereal. Stephen Lehan succeeds with emotional sax play. Famous tune like Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Honeysuckle Rose become new numbers. Hearing only the introductory part, it’s hard for listeners to identify the original title. Yacht Club Swing is performed in quick tempo, which carries pleasant feelings. Male vocal in Two Sleepy People adds a spice to the album. My favorite tracks are Lulu’s Back In Town and Sheik Of Araby / I Found A New Baby, played by the Moran trio with Nasheet Waits and Tarus Matten. Matten’s bass play is powerful and steadfast, while Nasheet’s drumming is lively and versatile.
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