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Handful of Keys [Box set, Import]

Fats WallerAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 22 Songs, 1999 $9.99  
Audio CD, 2011 $11.98  
Audio CD, Import, Box set, 2004 --  
Vinyl, Original recording reissued --  

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Handful of Keys + Are You Hep to the Jive + Red Hot Peppers Session
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 28, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set, Import
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Proper Box UK
  • ASIN: B0002DSA1G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,297 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Muscle Shoals Blues
2. Birmingham Blues
3. Henderson Stomp
4. Rusty Pail
5. Blue Black Bottom
6. Fats Waller Stomp
7. Savannah Blues
8. Geechee
9. Thou Swell
10. Handful Of Keys
11. Minor Drag
12. Harlem Fuss
13. Numb Fumblin'
14. Gladyse
15. Valentine Stomp
16. Smashing Thirds
17. Lookin' Good But Feelin' Bad
18. Won't You Get Off It Please?
19. I'm Crazy 'Bout My Baby
20. Porter's Love Song To A Chambermaid
See all 95 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Comprehensive four CD anthology of tracks recorded by one of the true geniuses of jazz piano. Includes booklet with rare photographs, full session details, & comprehensive liner notes. Proper Music. 2004.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best of the series October 6, 2004
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
We may now be in re-issue heaven and the PROPER BOX series are up to No 72 as at Sep 2004. To my ear, some of the music now sounds dated such as the bebop saxophone re-issues, or some of the swing music of the forties. Duke Ellington of any period but perhaps especially from 1926 to 1944 still seems brilliant to me, and modern. Similarly, Louis Armstrong seems immortal. And this PROPER BOX of FATS WALLER is in that company. I find it difficult to name a musician of such calibre who was also a consummate entertainer who could redeem some musical rubbish just by his performance. My first record was a 12" 78 which had BLUE TURNING GREY OVER YOU on one side HONEYSUCKLE ROSE on the other. Both these sides - works that almost define what it means to swing, which combine rhythm, harmony and melody in such a delicious combination, both recorded in 1937 - are included in this Box Set of four CD's. The accompanying Booklet has 48 pages of biography, posters, photos, recording details, and biographical information as well as notes accompanying the records by JOOP VISSER. My one disappointment is that the set contains no records of Mr Waller on a large organ has he did record some Spirituals in England which were stunning. (He is featured on organ and piano on a number of tracks in the set though I assume it is a Hammond). Some of the music - such as I'M ON A SEE-SAW - are classics of swing music; others - I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES made acceptable by Mr Waller: none are filler. For music lovers of 20th Century music, this is an essential purchase of a compleat musician at the peak of his powers exuding the joy of creating some of the best swing ever.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hallelujah! June 24, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is a special treat for Waller lovers. It's Fats Live, which gives you more of an idea what an entertaining genius he was. It includes alot of the patented wisecracks, quips, asides and humbugs, but it also features truly enjoyable music. His spiritual rendition of "Hallelujah" is especially a revelation. The sound is very clean, free of the usual hisses and pops you hear from vintage recordings. Fats is such a hepcat, the only thing that gives this away as vintage are the somewhat corny comments by the radio announcers. To be expected though, and it just illustrates how far the man was ahead of his time. Waller is my favorite artist and this is (currently) one of my favorite albums by in my opinion, the true King of Jazz.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
With informitive liner notes by autor of JAZZ SINGING Will Friedwald, this is an essential addition to any jazz fan's music library. Although you can find some of these songs on import CD's. This domestic CD is easy to find, and has great sound, and includes some spectacular vocals and stride piano playing by the one and only Fats Waller... Essental...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great fats June 22, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
the sound quality of this Cd is superb. The joy and enthusiasm of Fats' singing and playing comes bursting through. Try listening to this music without tapping your toes!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Handful of Keys August 1, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I bought this package of four CD's about five months ago, and believe me, there are very few days go by when I don't have one or more playing on my stereo. The transfers from 78's is remarkable. If you like Waller, you gotta like this ... and I'm not misbehavin'. Buy it and smile, smile, smile. It's fabulous. Oh yes and it's a great price for four CD's each of which lasts over 70 minutes. Go get it ... now.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I've owned the RCA sets The Early Years, Middle Years, but this is one of the best compilations spanning his entire career in one set. I'm partial to his earlier period (1934-36) but this set covers his career from real early 1922 solos to his untimely death in 1943, but its all good. Fats Waller was one of the greatest jazz pianists in history. His carefree singing and tickling the ivories always make me feel better. When I'm stressed out...I put a little bit of his music on my player..and all of a sudden..everything's OK again. The only knock on this wonderful set is that they did not include the original 1934 version of the instrumental (There are many in this set which speak of his piano prowess) Clothes Line Ballet, one of his most beautiful. Instead, they included a radio transcription from 1935 that sounds more like a radio comedy antic than the 1934 original. I believe that master cut has been ruined because on "Turn On The Heat" on RCA, it audibly shows that cut to be warped. All in all, if you're new or old to Fats, this is a satisfying box set. The enclosed booket is excellent with many pics, record dates, personnel and stories about Mr. Waller, who remains to this day, a giant in jazz. "Oooo....your lower extremeties are really obnoxious" (Your Feet's Too Big) Great job from Proper Records, as usual.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice live set May 20, 2002
Format:Audio CD
It is rare to find nice live sets with black musicians of this era, but to find live Fats Waller is a delight. Clearly they are having a ball playing, and you will have a ball listening. The sound quality is great (for recordings of this era), and the music is hot.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Harlem stride of Thomas Wright Waller May 19, 2010
Despite hundreds of pop recordings, piano rolls, concerts and broadcasts, Thomas 'Fats' Waller never strayed far from his musical roots. His private passions from boyhood were classical music and church organ. Privately and for intimate groups, Waller often played this very sort of music he that felt the public would never accept. Yet, as Thomas Waller approached his 40th year, there was serious contemplation of moving beyond pop song covers and small band performances of his own tunes to compose more traditional works. These plans ended with Waller's December 12th 1943 death from pneumonic complications. At the time of his passing, Fats was five months short of reaching 40.

On RCA Victor's 1957 black label release, HANDFUL OF KEYS (LPM-1502), Fats vocalizes on 14 tracks and plays solo on two. Accompanying musicians on the quintet, sextet and septet recordings are (alphabetically): Herman Autry (thumpet); Arnold Bolden (drums); Al Casey (guitar); Bill Coleman (trumpet); Harry Dial (drums); Chauncey Graham (tenor); John Hamilton (trumpet); Larry Hinton (drums); Slick Jones (drums); Mezz Mezzrow (clarinet); Floyd O'Brien (trombone); Rudy Powell (clarinet & alto); Gene Sedric (clarinet & tenor); John Smith (guitar); Bill Taylor (bass); Arthur Trappier (drums); Charles Turner (bass); Cedric Wallace (bass).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good old time music
Published 1 month ago by Norm
5.0 out of 5 stars Go back in time with the original Fats
Don't underestimate the power of Fats Waller and his ability to get people on the dance floor. Friends always feel as though they are going back in time when they hear my jazz... Read more
Published 12 months ago by M. Lunde
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Collection!
This great 4CD collection of Fats Waller gathers both his solo piano and vocal numbers. Fats expressed joy and sorrow, love and loss, with both a humour and a sentiment all his... Read more
Published 17 months ago by brotagonist
5.0 out of 5 stars Live Fats.
What can one say about the great Fats Waller that hasn't been said before. The live version of Fats doing 'Flat Foot Floogie (with the floy-floy)' is worth the couple bucks all by... Read more
Published 21 months ago by William G. Daniels
4.0 out of 5 stars A handful of keys, Fats Waller
I have not played it yet, it is a Christmas present. I'm sure it will be fine. I like Fats.
Published 22 months ago by Peter J. Wignall
I am a very great Amazon aficionado, but this is the second time recently that I have been disappointed by Amazon. Read more
Published on December 31, 2011 by Sam Britton
4.0 out of 5 stars Just Great!
Although I have most of the recordings on this CD, I bought it happily; to have three new songs from Fats.
There was never a musician and singer like Fats Waller. Read more
Published on December 30, 2011 by will
5.0 out of 5 stars as good as it gets
Strange thing. I put any of these Fats CDs in my 6-CD changer along with U2, Paul Simon, Miles, and Ashenazy, and I keep playing the Fats over and over- usually accompanied with a... Read more
Published on March 2, 2009 by Eric Minton
5.0 out of 5 stars Attention masterpiece!!
I'm listening to Fats Waller since 47 years...I thought I had all the records. This one I'discovered today has a live broadcast, recorded at the Yacht Club NYC, with Fats' best... Read more
Published on December 6, 2007 by Arouas
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