The most difficult part of this blogpost has been trying to find a polite title for the congenial combination of THE FAT BABIES and THOMAS “FATS” WALLER, but I think I’ve managed to be as little offensive as possible. I hope. No suggestions solicited, please.
Here are three performances by that wonderful octet — Andy Schumm, cornet; Dave Bock, trombone; John Otto and Jonathan Doyle, reeds; Paul Asaro, piano and vocals; Jake Sanders, banjo / guitar; Beau Sample, leader / string bass; Alex Hall, drums — at the Evergreen Jazz Festival in Evergreen, Colorado, on July 29, 2016.
From Fats’ first published song (based on THE BOY IN THE BOAT, as we know), onwards to a sadder one:
Finally, the delightful Jimmy McHugh tune that Fats made his own — performing it in the 1935 film KING OF BURLESQUE. (Then, it got taken up by Louis and others, happily):
On all these performances, the ebullient Paul Asaro — striding, singing, and smiling — stands out, as he always does. Paul has made two CDs — tributes to Waller and Morton — with the Fat Babies, issued on Rivermont Records.
More to come from Colorado — and if you’re near Chicago, you can hear The Fat Babies live. http://www.thefatbabies.com/ is their website and performing schedule. And — even more! — I’m waiting for a copy of their latest release, correctly titled SOLID GASSUH (!) on Delmark Records.
Hotter than a fat baby, for sure.
May your happiness increase!