Saturday, November 26, 2016

Solid Gassuh! New CD By The Fat Babies Revitalizes Jazz of The 1920s Era

The day after
After a hectic Black Friday you may need more than a lot of coffee to get things back to normal, because you are in an acute confusional state known as suffering from delirium

A monster syringe of good medicine
If you spent your last five pennies yesterday and this extravagance did not help consolidate your normally good taste, you have better see a doctor

Well, I assume Doctor Russell's medicine may have boosted your sanity, now you need just a small infusion of Henderson's exquisite vintage before you're a feeling good

CD front: The Fat Babies - Solid Gassuh (Delmark, cd 257)
Instead of going to the shopping mall last night, I spent a pleasant time in the good company of The Fat Babies listening to the latest CD by this great band which has specialized in revitalizing vintage jazz of the 1920s era. The Fat Babies is a Chicago based jazz ensemble founded in 2010 by string bass player Beau Sample. Remaining members of the septet performing at the shown CD are Andy Schumm (co,as), John Otto (reeds), Dave Bock (tb), Paul Asaro (p, voc), Jake Sanders (bj,g) and Alex Hall (dm). The title of the CD quotes a late 19th century slang term describing something especially pleasing or successful. It's not just  a case of fraudulent advertising being put at the front cover of the CD, the music and the performance in the fifteen tracks contained at the disc definitely support my impression of a very pleasing  and successful album. - The repertoire of the album comprises music originally recorded by a.o. Luis Russell and his orchestra (Doctor Blues), Fletcher Henderson (Feelin' Good, Alabamy Bound), McKinney's Cotton Pickers (I Miss A Little Miss), Johnny Dodds (Pencil Papa), Benny Goodman (After Awhile), Red Nichols (Delirium), Jean Goldkette's Orchestra featuing Bix Beiderbecke (Slow River). There are also seldom performed tunes like Original Charleston Strut (originally recorded by Thomas Morris' Past Jazz Masters), Parkway Stomp ( originally by Albert Wynn a.h. Gut Bucket Five feat. Alex Hill), Alex Hill and King Oliver's You Were Only Passing Time With Me, the Bing Crosby hit Did You Ever See a Dream Walking? (- also by Gene Kardos a.o.), Egyptian Ella (Ted Lewis a.h. Orchestra feat. Fats Waller a.o.) and Sing Song Girl (by Ben Pollack a.h. Orchestra feat. Benny Goodman and Jack Teagarden, a.o.). Finally, the disc ends with a hot orchesta version of Scott Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag. - The arrangements and performance by The Fat Babies are great, it's a sheer pleasure to listen to updated versions of vintage jazz when performed by musicians who know their roots and contribute their skills with due respect to both the past masters and a contemporary audience. I highly recommend the CD as an example of vintage jazz in exquisite performance by the fabulous Fat Babies, available for purchase here
The Fat Babies in performance
To end this small review of Solid Gassuh, I'll insert a couple of uploaded videos featuring The Fat Babies in live performance recorded last year of some of the tunes contained at the CD - Here's first the band's version of Delirium

From the same performance, here's The Fat Babies performing Feelin' Good

Finally, to end this, here is the band's version of Maple Leaf Rag from another live performance in November last year


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