Waller, Fats

Waller, Fats
orig. Thomas Wright Waller

born May 21, 1904, New York, N.Y., U.S.
died Dec. 15, 1943, Kansas City, Mo.

U.S. jazz pianist, singer, and composer.

Waller was influenced early by stride pianist James P. Johnson. He became an important exponent of stride piano by the late 1920s, recording solo piano pieces such as "Handful of Keys." From 1934 he recorded with a small ensemble, Fats Waller and His Rhythm, integrating his vocals and unique comic timing with instrumental finesse. His rhythmically contagious performances of his own songs, such as "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "Honeysuckle Rose," are timeless classics of jazz.

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▪ American musician
byname of  Thomas Wright Waller  
born May 21, 1904, New York City
died Dec. 15, 1943, Kansas City, Mo., U.S.
 American pianist and composer who was one of the few outstanding jazz musicians to win wide commercial fame, though this was achieved at a cost of obscuring his purely musical ability under a cloak of broad comedy.

      Overcoming opposition from his clergyman father, Waller became a professional pianist at 15, working in cabarets and theatres, and soon became deeply influenced by James P. Johnson (Johnson, James P.), the founder of the stride school of jazz piano. By the late 1920s he was also an established songwriter whose work often appeared in Broadway revues. From 1934 on he made hundreds of recordings with his own small band, in which excellent jazz was mixed with slapstick in a unique blend.

      His best-known songs include “Ain't Misbehavin',” “Honeysuckle Rose,” and his first success, “Squeeze Me” (1925), written with Clarence Williams. He was the first jazz musician to master the organ, and he appeared in several films, including Stormy Weather (1943). Usually remembered as a genial clown, he is of lasting importance as one of the greatest of all jazz pianists and as a gifted songwriter, whose work in both fields was rhythmically contagious.

Additional Reading
Biographies include Ed Kirkeby, Duncan P. Scheidt, and Sinclair Traill, Ain't Misbehavin' (1966, reissued 1975); and Maurice Waller and Anthony Calabrese, Fats Waller (1977), cowritten by his son.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • WALLER (FATS) — WALLER THOMAS dit FATS (1904 1943) Disciple de James P. Johnson, le père spirituel de tous les grands pianistes stride , Fats Waller ne tarda pas à surpasser son maître en vélocité, en légèreté, en originalité et en élégance. On reconnut en lui… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Waller, Fats — orig. Thomas Wright Waller (21 may. 1904, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.–15 dic. 1943, Kansas City, Mo.). Pianista, cantante y compositor de jazz estadounidense. A temprana edad recibió la influencia del pianista stride James P. Johnson. A fines de la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Waller, Fats — soprannome di Waller, Thomas Wright …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • 'Fats' Waller — ‘Fats’ Waller [Fats Waller] (1904–43) a US ↑jazz musician who sang, played the piano and wrote popular songs. His real name was Thomas Waller. His humorous style influenced many later jazz performers. His hits included Ain’t Misbehavin’ (1928)… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Waller — Waller, Thomas * * * (as used in expressions) Waller, Edmund Waller, Fats Thomas Wright Waller …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Fats Waller — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Waller. Thomas Fats Waller Fats Walle …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Waller — /wol euhr, waw leuhr/, n. 1. Edmund, 1607 87, English poet. 2. Thomas ( Fats ), 1904 43, U.S. jazz pianist and songwriter. * * * (as used in expressions) Waller Edmund Waller Fats Thomas Wright Waller * * * …   Universalium

  • Fats Waller — 1938 Thomas Wright Waller (* 21. Mai 1904 in Harlem, New York; † 15. Dezember 1943 im Santa Fé Express in Höhe von Kansas City an einer Lungenentzündung) war ein bekannter Jazz Pianist, Komponist und Sänger. Der wegen seines stat …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Fats Waller — Fats Waller. Thomas Wright Waller, llamado Fats, fue uno de los grandes pianistas de la historia del swing y el stride piano. Nacido el 21 de mayo de 1904 en el barrio de Harlem, Nueva York, Fats fue hijo de un pastor baptista del que aprendió a… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Fats Domino — en concert Naissance 26 février 1928 Pays d’origine …   Wikipédia en Français

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