The contents of this CD of recordings by “Fats” Waller and his Rhythm are remarkable for several reasons. Firstly, the entire first
side was made at a single session in the Camden, New Jersey studios of RCA Victor, presumably using the curious device that had been tried a few days earlier for Ray Noble and his Orchestra, in which the entire unit was “housed” in a gigantic horn in an attempt to obtain a similar, even superior sound to that regularly achieved by EMI in the Abbey Road studios in London. Secondly, on Brother, Seek And Ye Shall Find, “Fats” plays Vibraphone briefly in addition to the piano, and on the final track, Loafin’ Time, the vocal consists of a dialogue between “Fats” and his trumpet player, Herman Autrey.
In addition, we find the great man playing celeste on Rhythm And Romance, and indulging in some typically crazy scat-singing on There’ll Be Some Changes Made, followed by a monologue in what may have been intended to be upper-class English accents. (There are some weird vocal noises on The Girl I Left Behind Me, which is not at all the same song as was popular in the American Civil War between 1861 and 1865). All of which demonstrate once more the great versatility of the most popular figure to emerge from the Harlem jazz scene in the years between the world wars.