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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars turn it on,
This review is from: Turn on the Heat: The Fats Waller Piano Solos (Audio CD)It's all here...gospel feeling, the whiff of the cocktail (lounge), artistry, entertainment and the finest combination of creativity and technique in the history of Stride Piano. If Johnson and Willie the Lion are unquestionably deeper, more searching artists, Waller is the most consistent. Highpoints for me are mostly on the second disc - aficionados, go there first! ( but skip those duets - tracks 4 and 5 - trivia!). Alligator Crawl is a manneristic masterpiece, possessing ( besides "the secret of joy" ) l'air de rien...you try playing it. Those hints of Boogie - Woogie certainly bring to mind Waller's cited distain for that idiom...he only uses it as a jumping off point. If you're feelin' nerdy, try following Keepin' Out of Mischief Now with Andre Hodier's analysis in the groundbreaking book Jazz, Its Evolution and Essence. Anyway, all of the 1937 solos are definitive. For all the great music Waller recorded, it's criminal that there are only 3 solo sessions between 1934 and his death in 1943! Carolina Shout (the originally issued, better take) is more technically assured than any of the composer James P. Johnson's versions...ah, i could go on and on...Just one thing, though - ( a cavil ): mastering is better than earlier reissues on Bluebird, but it ain't all that...those of you who have never experienced a John R. T. Davies or Lionel Risler or Steven Lasker remastering job need to check them out!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accept substitutes,
This review is from: Turn on the Heat: The Fats Waller Piano Solos (Audio CD)This disc has been deleted by RCA, and $41.97 is currently the low price asked by sellers of used copies, but the same tunes are available on Jazz Archives' "Piano Masterworks, Vols. 1 & 2" at about half that price.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest jazz pianists in history!,
This review is from: Turn on the Heat: The Fats Waller Piano Solos (Audio CD)Waller was underappreciated as a jazz pianist in his day. He was usually clowing around and the emphasis was placed more on his singing. These cuts show off his instrumental prowess and it is awesome! His playing swung delicately and intricately. He also displayed a poignant harmonic beauty to all his works. It's like trying to describe a beautiful sunset or sunrise to someone who's never seen one. You have to experience Fats' playing to truly understand it's beauty. It's easy on the nerves. Ideal for driving through the road rage of life! One CD I'll always cherish. All his classic solos (1929-1937) are here for the ages!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HIS ART WAS IN HIS HANDS,
This review is from: Turn on the Heat: The Fats Waller Piano Solos (Audio CD)So many reissues of Fats concentrate on him singing popular songs of the day that this 2-CD set serves as a reminder of just what a marvellous composer and pianist he was. Of the thirty-two titles in this compilation (not counting alternate takes) he composed or collaborated on no fewer than eighteen. His piano solo recordings seem to have been somewhat spasmodic; the earliest was recorded in early 1927 and shows him still under the influence of James P. Johnson. in 1929 he recorded fifteen titles, from which it's apparent that by then he was very much his own man, his style fully-formed.
The following year he recorded two duets with Benny Payne, who was a stand-in for Jelly Roll Morton, who failed to show. Later that year he recorded another four titles, including the coded "Viper's Drag" (viper being argot for a reefer addict). There was then a hiatus, so far as piano solos were concerned, until mid-1937, when he recorded five, four of which are standards. Another four years elapsed before he recorded his last five piano solos for Victor, including "Carolina Shout" by his mentor.
This is a wonderful collection, beautifully remastered, which repays close and repeated listening.
5.0 out of 5 stars great music by the master,
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This review is from: Turn on the Heat: The Fats Waller Piano Solos (Audio CD)i have been a fats waller fan for a long time, the chance to get a collection of his piano solos was not to be missed. the piano work is wonderful and it just draws you in, you can,t help but smile and enjoy it . when you listen to fats ,you are listening to someone that is really having a good time doing his work. the quality of this cd was very good and it came as stated. I feel that this was a very good purchase
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stride At Its Best,
This review is from: Turn on the Heat: The Fats Waller Piano Solos (Audio CD)No two stride artists play exactly alike. I really have to say that of all the stride albums I've found, this is the one I keep listening and listening to. Waller is especially known for his powerful keystrokes. You really feel the keys being hit when you're listening...he wasn't taught to cup his fingers while striking the keys as most modern piano teaching calls for. Waller has an unbreakable left-hand rhythym and moves flawlessly from one tempo to another. You never lose the melody. Most of his improvisations on the songs in this album were never even put on paper and are practically impossible to duplicate, although Paul Posnak had transcribed a few of main ones. You will finish listening to this one wishing you could have been the one to play these...or at least to have been there. Waller was a genius.
6 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Honest American Music,
By A Customer
This review is from: Turn on the Heat: The Fats Waller Piano Solos (Audio CD)In today's washed out pop-culture, honest, real music no longer captures the imagination of the American public. We either have anarchic nihilism or just plain nothing. We are either chaotically self-destructing or ablating into non-entities.
There is, however, a true and honest expression of real american values and aspirations, set in a time of great hardship for many, but where determination and optimism nevertheless persisted.
The music of Fats Waller and other pianists of
his generation and genre captures this spirit. The CD set "Turn On The Heat- Piano Solos" takes us back to a quintessentially American form which reinforces the notion of E Pluribus Unum and speaks to the universal feelings present in all men. This is a great CD. I wish I could hear this music at my local ballpark instead of "We Will Rock You".
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