Swingin’ Them Jingle Bells

It’s with some trepidation that I find myself facing the long journey to Newcastle tomorrow. There’s been heavy rain overnight (even leading to a Flood Alert along the Taff near my house) and quite a lot of disruption on the railways today as a consequence. Nevertheless I’m determined to make an attempt to get into the Christmas spirit. If Fats Waller can’t do it, nobody can. Here’s his classic version of Jingle Bells on which the general atmosphere of hilarity and inspired chaos allows his superb musicianship to shine all the more brightly. Few ever managed to play Harlem Stride piano as well as Fats Waller, and he’s on top form in the opening choruses of this record.

Will I make it home on Christmas Eve? In the immortal words of Mr Waller “One never knows, do one?”

3 Responses to “Swingin’ Them Jingle Bells”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    I recall Humphrey Lyttelton playing a recording of Fats Waller doing jazz (was it boogie woogie?) on a pipe organ – no mean feat because of the delay.

    Hope you are not delayed! Hapy Christmas Peter.

    • telescoper Says:

      Yes, Fats Waller loved to play the organ and there are quite a few records of him doing so. He never gets that lightly bouncing feel with the left hand tenths, though. Not surprising, because it’s bloody hard even on the piano!

    • telescoper Says:

      ps. Fats Waller died on December 15th 1943, only 39 years old. He was a great musician, probably because he never took himself seriously.

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