Fats Waller: Ain't Misbehavin'
Fats Waller (piano)
If You Got to Ask, You Ain't Got It! (Bluebird/Legacy 81124)
Fats Waller (piano).
Composed by Fats Waller, Andy Razaf, and Harry Brooks.
Recorded: Camden, NJ, August 2, 1929
Rating: 96/100 (learn more)
He doesn't sing here, but Waller's skills as pianist and composer are amply displayed. While Fats didn't invent the Harlem stride style (usually credited to James P. Johnson), he was among its most prodigious practitioners. And whereas he didn't write all the best songs of the 1920s (a guy named Gershwin being no slouch), Fats contributed many jazz standards. Both in conception and execution, "Ain't Misbehavin'" personifies Waller's irrepressible mischief and merriment. Disporting the lilting melody with his effortless bubbly touch, he simultaneously goads the song with a vibrant sense of swing, producing a track as irresistible as Fats himself.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz