From the Record Shelves #218

Ridin’ But Walking’

LP Black and White vol 91 RCA 741.094

As often happens, there is an ugly yellow label glued to the LP sleeve that is impossible to take away. It says that you’re not allowed to exchange the record when the seal is broken. I didn’t because there is so much good music on it.

Fats plays fine piano solos, sounding as Jelly Roll Morton would recommend, like a whole orchestra, but there are also several tracks with full personnel called Fats Waller and his Buddies.

On this one, they demonstrate a typical Harlem sound. I have to trust the probable identifications here. First we hear Larry Binyon on tenor sax and then some bars of a good rhythm section before the exposition of the blues theme begins with (still probably) Pops Foster on bass and Will Johnson on banjo. A bit surprisingly, they are joined by Gene Krupa on drums.

The first solo is by Albert Nicholas on clarinet; then we hear a chorus of fiery trumpet from Red Allen; after that Binyons tenor again, and then Jack Teagarden on trombone.

It’s interesting to hear the bandleader’s accompaniment on piano. Waller plays a constant thrill in the treble register behind Nicholas, and then on the following two solos he hammers out chords in a rhythmical way here and there, and behind Teagarden he fills in with short phrases.

At the end of the tune, I enjoy getting a glimpse of Leonard Davis personal trumpet sound.

I think that the “ridin’” in the title means something like “playing exciting rhythmically.”