When the first Fats Waller Rhythm records were issued in England in March, 1935, the leading jazz critic of the day said: “Fats has a ?air for always seeing the brighter side of life... if they started putting them (the records) out in bigger quantities and more frequently. The supply would create the demand by giving more opportunities for people to realize what an amusing and versatile entertainer Mr. “Fats” Waller can be.” Rarely a month passed since then without a new Fats record, and those of the general public who professed no interest in, even distaste for jazz, had to admit that “Harlem’s Harmful Little Armful” was in a class by himself.
The stories of his gargantuan appetite for things to eat and drink have assumed the status of legends in the years since his death in Kansas City on December 15. 1943. a few months before his fortieth birthday; but nowhere on any of the tracks in this album is there any evidence of his having over-indulged in what he termed “liquid ham and eggs.” Every word is clear, every note is struck exactly as it was intended to be. Boisterous at times, yes; effervescent, often; as adept at crooning a love-song as Bing Crosby (himself a jazz singer on many occasions), most certainly. A great jazz man, a great comedian, a great all-round entertainer, always. As someone said. “With those two great hands. who needs a rhythm section?”