Fats Waller: Florida Flo
Fats Waller (piano, vocals)
Sing For Your Supper (Avid 529)
Composed by Joe Davis & Howard Johnson.
Recorded: New York, March 11, 1938
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
Like other jazz greats (Armstrong, Holiday), Fats Waller has been criticized for doing material that was beneath him. Such an accomplished pianist and gifted composer, goes the gripe, ought never have stooped to Tin Pan Alley tripe. This, we submit, misconstrues one side of a multifaceted performer. Waller's buffoonery was no less artful than that of court jesters or opera buffa. While seemingly indulging the triviality of "Florida Flo," for instance, Fats slyly transforms it, letting us in on the joke with a mischievous sidelong wink in his voice. By playing the fool, Fats Waller turns foolishness on its head.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz