Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1: Messin' Around with the Blues

Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1: Messin' Around with the Blues

by Fats WallerFats Waller


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For decades Fats Waller's recorded legacy has found its way into the lives of jazz heads and regular folks throughout the world, most often in piecemeal fashion through "best-of" collections that fixate upon his most popular recordings from the 1930s and early '40s, or in mammoth "complete editions" inevitably peppered with gaps and flaws. "Messin' Around with the Blues" is volume one in JSP's Complete Recorded Works of Thomas Fats Waller. Spread across four compact discs, one-hundred vintage tracks map nearly every single recording session that Waller participated in between October 21, 1922 and June 18, 1928. Sound is good throughout, and some of the early pressings sound much better than they did when reissued by the Classics label. This comes very close to being the best early Fats Waller reissue project the world has ever seen. Beginning with his first two piano solos, JSP traces young Waller's progress with almost unprecedented thoroughness, following him from date to date as he accompanies vocalists (most notably Alberta Hunter and Rosa Henderson) and comedians (Clarence Williams and Clarence Todd); sits in with bands led by Fletcher Henderson, Thomas Morris, Jimmy Johnson and Johnny Dunn; convenes with Johnson, cornetist Jabbo Smith and multi-reed man Garvin Bushell to make chamber jazz records under the name of the Louisiana Sugar Babes, and establishes himself as the world's very first jazz organist. The rarest material presented here is so uncommon that even lifelong Wallerites might never have caught it before; on May 17, 1927, Waller played organ behind four sermons viscerally delivered by the Rev. J.C. Burnett, assisted in holy roller style by Sisters Ethel Grainger and Odette Jackson. These recordings pick up where Waller and church ladies Alta Browne and Bertha Powell left off with their solemn little pair of sacred songs recorded for Gennett in April 1926. JSP's phenomenal early Waller anthology is outstanding and utterly essential. The only serious omissions appear to be two sides -- "Chloe" and "When You're with Somebody Else" -- recorded with Shilkret's Rhyth-Melodists in early March 1928. How or why these tracks didn't make it onto this otherwise stunningly complete overview of early Fats Waller is anybody's guess. Taken together, the eight CDs comprising volumes one and two in JSP's Complete Recorded Works of Fats Waller are major achievements deserving of highest honors. All that's needed now is for someone to issue every known player piano roll by Waller, Luckey Roberts and James P. Johnson. The rolls need to be played back using the Yamaha Disklavier, a high-tech instrument that was employed to rescue Jelly Roll Morton's piano rolls from oblivion. When this occurs, humanity will at last have taken decisive steps towards paying worthy homage to the Harlem pianists whose music played a decisive role in the rapid evolution of jazz and popular music during the first half of the 20th century.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/05/2007
Label: Jsp Records
UPC: 0788065902728
catalogNumber: 927
Rank: 93928


Disc 1

  1. Muscle Shoals Blues
  2. Birmingham Blues
  3. 'Taint Nobody's Bus'ness If I Do
  4. You Got Ev'rything a Sweet Mama Needs But Me
  5. Mama's Got the Blues
  6. Last Go Round Blues
  7. Stingaree Blues
  8. You Can't Do What My Last Man Did
  9. Sister Kate
  10. You Can't Do What My Last Man Did
  11. Trixie Blues
  12. I'm Cert'ny Gonna See 'Bout That
  13. Squabbling Blues
  14. In Harlem's Araby
  15. You Don't Know My Mind Blues
  16. West Indies Blues
  17. Maybe Someday
  18. (I'm Gonna See You) When Your Troubles Are Just Like Mine
  19. You Get Mad
  20. What's the Matter Now?
  21. Nobody Knows de Trouble I See
  22. Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray
  23. Ain't Got Nobody to Grind Ma Coffee
  24. Mama's Losin' a Mighty Good Chance
  25. The Henderson Stomp
  26. The Chant

Disc 2

  1. St Louis Blues
  2. Lenox Avenue Blues
  3. What Do You Know About That
  4. Shut Your Mouth
  5. Soothin' Syrup Stomp
  6. Sloppy Water Blues
  7. Loveless Love
  8. Messin' Around with the Blues
  9. The Rusty Pail
  10. Stompin' the Bug
  11. Hog-Maw Stomp
  12. Blue Black Bottom Stomp
  13. Whiteman Stomp
  14. I'm Coming Virginia
  15. Preach the Word
  16. I'll Just Stand and Ring My Hands and Cry
  17. True Friendship
  18. The Christians' Trouble Is Ended
  19. Sugar
  20. Sugar
  21. Beale Street Blues
  22. Beale Street Blues
  23. I'm Going to See My Ma
  24. "Fats" Waller Stomp
  25. Savannah Blues

Disc 3

  1. Won't You Take Me Home
  2. My Old Daddy's Got a Brand New Way to Love
  3. Anything That Happens Just Pleases Me
  4. I've Got the Joogie Blues
  5. Florence
  6. Gone But Not Forgotten
  7. You Live on in Memory
  8. Bye-Bye Florence
  9. He's Gone Away
  10. I Ain't Got Nobody
  11. The Digah's Stomp
  12. Red Hot Dan
  13. Geechee
  14. Please Take Me out of Jail
  15. Back in Your Own Back Yard
  16. Nobody Knows How Much I Love You
  17. What's the Use of Being Alone?
  18. Original Blues
  19. Willow Tree
  20. 'Sippi
  21. Thou Swell
  22. Persian Rug
  23. Chicago Blues
  24. Mournful Tho'ts

Disc 4

  1. You Can't Do What My Last Man Did
  2. Trixie Blues
  3. St Louis Blues
  4. What Do You Know About That
  5. Shut Your Mouth
  6. Soothin' Syrup Stomp
  7. Sloppy Water
  8. Messin' Around with the Blues
  9. The Rusty Pail
  10. Stompin' the Bug
  11. Hog-Maw Stomp
  12. "Fats" Waller Stomp
  13. Savannah Blues
  14. Won't You Take Me Home
  15. My Old Daddy's Got a Brand New Way to Love
  16. Anything That Happens Just Pleases Me
  17. I've Got the Joogie Blues
  18. He's Gone Away
  19. The Digah's Stomp
  20. Red Hot Dan
  21. Geechee
  22. Please Take Me out of Jail
  23. Willow Tree
  24. 'Sippi
  25. Thou Swell

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Fats Waller   Primary Artist,Organ,Piano,Vocals,Pipe organ,Soloist
Alberta Hunter   Vocals
Sara Martin   Vocals
Buster Bailey   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone
James P. Johnson   Piano
Cootie Williams   Trumpet
Jabbo Smith   Cornet
Perry Bradford   Spoken Word
Louis Metcalf   Clarinet
Benny Morton   Trombone
Don Redman   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Coleman Hawkins   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Andy Razaf   Vocals
Tommy Ladnier   Trumpet
Jimmy Archey   Trombone
Garvin Bushell   Clarinet,Bassoon,Alto Saxophone
Charlie Dixon   Banjo
Fletcher Henderson   Piano
Porter Grainger   Vocals
Jimmy Harrison   Trombone
Charlie Holmes   Alto Saxophone
Charlie Irvis   Trombone
David Martin   Vocals
Tom Morris   Cornet
Joe "Fox" Smith   Trumpet
Russell Smith   Trumpet
Clarence Williams   Kazoo,Vocals
Bobby Leecan   Guitar
Justin Ring   Percussion,Wood Block
Joe Watts   String Bass
Johnny Dunn   Cornet
Rosa Henderson   Vocals
Hazel Meyers   Vocals
Clarence Todd   Kazoo
Bert Howell   Violin
Alta Browne   Vocals
Addington Major   Clarinet
Joe Smith   Trumpet
Benny Morton's All Stars   Trombone
Odette Jackson   Vocals
Johnny Dunn & His Band   Cornet
Tom Morris   Cornet
Eddie King   Drums
Howard Nelson   Violin
Kaiser Marshall   Drums
Carroll C. Tate   Vocals
Bertha Powell   Vocals
David Martin   Vocals
Sister Ethel Grainger   Vocals
June Cole Orchestra   Vocals
Russell Smith Orchestra   Trumpet
Caroline Johnson   Vocals
Juanita Stinette Chappelle   Vocals
Maude "May Crane" Mills   Vocals
Anna Jones   Vocals
Herb Flemming   Trombone
Joe Sims   Vocals
Carroll C Tate   Vocals
Sister Odette Jackson   Vocals
Joe Watts   Upright Bass
Maude Mills   Vocals
John Mitchell   Banjo
Howard Nelson   Violin

Technical Credits

Don Redman   Arranger
Fletcher Henderson   Director
Clarence Williams   Duet
Ted Kendall   Liner Notes
June Cole Orchestra   Brass Band

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