Fats Waller: The Minor Drag
The Minor Drag
Fats Waller (piano)
The Joint is Jumpin’ (RCA- Bluebird 6288)
Composed by Thomas ‘Fats’ Waller.
Recorded: New York, March 1, 1929
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
This original, from Waller’s first self-led session, foreshadows the wonderfully spontaneous recordings he made with his band during the mid and late 1930s. In his autobiography, We Called it Music, Eddie Condon recalled the haphazard way this session was thrown together: Waller, a great musician but considered undependable by the Victor A&R folks, was assigned Condon as a deputy to ensure that the pianist would make the date. As a result, Condon was hired by Waller to participate. “The Minor Drag,” taken at a brisk and steady 264 beats per minute, features Harris, Gaines and Irvis soloing over a simple 16-measure strain in C minor while Waller adds a new Eb major strain for his second chorus. The ensemble riffs and fills which close the performance are free of clutter and full of excitement. This performance demonstrates Waller’s uncanny ability to make near-perfect and timeless music with an ad hoc ensemble at the spur of the moment.
Reviewer: David Sager
Tags: 1920s jazz