Friday, February 13, 2015

Tadd and Fats Redux

Fat Girl and Baptiste: Fats Navarro and Illinois Jacquet at a session in the mid-'40s. Photo from Down Beat
If you were to guess the most visited and downloaded entry on this blog, what do think it would it be? That rare Mingus? The live version of Ornette's "Skies of America"? The only record pianist Kenny Kersey ever made as a leader? How about Duke Ellington and Bing Crosby teaming up on "St. Louis Blues," with Der Bingle scatting a chorus?

I might have guessed one of those, too. But I'd be wrong and so would you. Number 1 on Gems is "Fats and Fat Value" from March of last year. There I mused on the worth of this music called jazz and contrasted the value of a Michael Cosmic LP with one by Tadd Dameron and Fats Navarro. Apparently Gems' readers thought the Dameron/Navarro download was worth something, because it sold and keeps selling ("selling" being a term of art – nothing here is for sale except a bridge in Brooklyn).

So, to keep our readers happy, here's Part 2 of Tadd and Fats at the Royal Roost in 1948, another treasure that comes our way via the obsessive/compulsive airchecking of the late, lamented Boris Rose. This one features a few nice vocals by Kenny Hagood and a guest appearance by Milt Jackson. The playing is first rate with Fats in primo shape and Alan Eager displaying his mettle.

The recording has Boris's abrupt starts and stops, and there's a bit of surface sound, but overall I'd say these tunes are in pretty good sonic shape for being in their 67th year (hey, I'm nearly that old!). So enjoy them and let's see if we can outdo the last Tadd/Fats download. As always, from the original vinyl.

(I wonder if I should post the Michael Cosmic ... ?)

Tadd and Fats Fats Navarro/Tadd Dameron
Sneaker TDFN 829
Airchecks, Royal Roost, New York, NY

Fats Navarro, tp; Rudy Williams, as; Allen Eager, ts; Tadd Dameron, p; Curley Russell, b; Kenny Clarke, d; Kenny Hagood, v. August 29, 1948

1. The Squirrel
2. Good Bait
3. Pennies from Heaven (KH)
4. Anthropology
5. Kitchenette Across the Hall (KH)
6. Lady Be Good
7. Tadd Walk

Fats Navarro, tp; Rudy Williams, as; Allen Eager, ts; Milt Jackson, vbs; Tadd Dameron, p; 
Curley Russell, b; Kenny Clarke, d. September 4, 1948

8. Symphonette
9. The Squirrel #2

As above, October 16, 1948

10. Anthropology #2
11. Our Delight
12. Tadd Walk #2

Find it here: