Fats Waller: African Ripples


African Ripples


Fats Waller (piano)


The Joint is Jumpin' (Bluebird 6288-2-RB)

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Fats Waller (piano).

Recorded: November 16, 1934


Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

Fats Waller's combo sides sound like primal party music, recorded at the heat of the festivities, just before the police arrive at the door. But Waller's solo piano music is from another world entirely, with moments of delicacy, and rich with nuances that demand close listening. "African Ripples" ranks among Waller's finest solo outings, a heady mixture of Harlem rent party and concert-hall fare. In just three minutes, Waller explores a range of tempos and moods, closing with a powerful burst of stride piano that leaves us begging for more. A masterpiece of 1930s jazz that deserves to be better known today.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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