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Re: [RedHotJazz] shopworn sentimentalism (was Bob Fuller musicians and recording)

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  • Patrice Champarou
    ... From: Howard Rye The original French is: Sa façon de chanter les mélodies les plus tendres d¹un air goguenard qui ridiculise le sentimentalisme de
    Message 1 of 23 , Sep 2, 2008
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Howard Rye"

      The original French is: Sa façon de chanter les mélodies les plus tendres
      d¹un air goguenard qui ridiculise le sentimentalisme de bazar sous lequel
      s¹étiole le vrai coeur de monde. (His [Fats¹s] way of singing the tenderest
      melodies in a jeering tone which ridicules the dime store sentimentalism
      with which the true heart of the world is being weakened.....) This is my
      translation not Schaap¹s. Whatever its defects, mine at least makes sense in
      English, whereas I have no idea what Schaap thought he meant by ³the sort of
      showy sentimentality that ridicules withering².

      Native speaker (and born hair-splitter) confirms, maybe the shortcut looks
      cute but assuming it means anything at all, I wonder how he managed to link
      it to the rest of the sentence. If you just keep the main words, the
      structure is definitely "Fat's way of singing/ridicules/sentimentalism", any
      substitution woud be a confusion.

      P.
    • Patrice Champarou
      ... or rather (his) tone/ridicules/sentimentalism (which boils down to the same thing, but I do not want to add more confusion to a verbless sentence)
      Message 2 of 23 , Sep 2, 2008
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        > "Fat's way of singing/ridicules/sentimentalism"
        or rather "(his) tone/ridicules/sentimentalism" (which boils down to the
        same thing, but I do not want to add more confusion to a verbless sentence)
      • Howard Rye
        It¹s not verbless in the original, Patrice. I only translated the relevant clauses. It goes on and on with a long list of characteristics of Fats Waller¹s
        Message 3 of 23 , Sep 2, 2008
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          It¹s not verbless in the original, Patrice. I only translated the relevant
          clauses. It goes on and on with a long list of characteristics of Fats
          Waller¹s playing and eventually ends with ³tout cela se reflète dans son
          jeu² (all this is reflected in his playing).


          on 02/09/2008 23:27, Patrice Champarou at patrice.champarou@... wrote:

          >
          >
          >
          >> > "Fat's way of singing/ridicules/sentimentalism"
          > or rather "(his) tone/ridicules/sentimentalism" (which boils down to the
          > same thing, but I do not want to add more confusion to a verbless sentence)
          >
          >
          >


          Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
          howard@...
          Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098




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        • Bob Mates
          I certainly don t know French, but I do know that a strong point of Fats s sing was to take the inane, overly-sentimental lyrics to a song, and, by over-doing
          Message 4 of 23 , Sep 2, 2008
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            I certainly don't know French, but I do know that a strong point
            of Fats's sing was to take the inane, overly-sentimental lyrics
            to a song, and, by over-doing them, satirize them. You laughed,
            both at his vocal antics, and at the lyrics, because they were
            made to sound more ridiculous, as he made fun of them. Bob
          • David Brown
            I love Fats but he demeaned the great songs along with the dross. Compare with, for instance, Billie who enhanced the dross as well as the great songs. Or with
            Message 5 of 23 , Sep 3, 2008
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              I love Fats but he demeaned the great songs along with the dross. Compare
              with, for instance, Billie who enhanced the dross as well as the great
              songs. Or with Louis who delivered the utmost dross with such sincerity you
              believe it -- almost.

              I think Waller's legacy would be even greater had he respected more both his
              material and his own ability to transcend it.

              Dave



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            • Bob Mates
              It just goes to prove that, more than any other form of music, jazz is an outgrowth of the performer s personality. Billie s songs were full of emotion,
              Message 6 of 23 , Sep 3, 2008
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                It just goes to prove that, more than any other form of music,
                jazz is an outgrowth of the performer's personality. Billie's
                songs were full of emotion, because her whole life was that way.
                Her love songs were kind of her cry for love. Louis loved the
                schmultzy stuff; making you believe it was part of the
                performance. From what I've read about Fats, he didn't really
                take any music very seriously, except church music and classical
                music. Everything else was fair game. Some say he took away
                from his ability, but I don't know. I think he pulled you in
                with the humor, and then, when you were hooked, made you realize
                what a truly great performer and musician he was. Remember: he
                wasn't playing for the purists, but for the public. I had a lot
                of Fats stuff on vinyl, but it's back in Pittsburgh. Someday, I
                hope to get it up here, to Grand Rapids. Take care, everyone.
                Bob
              • Tommer
                ... Interesting reading. I do believe that being funny is not a choice anyone can make, it is a gift, and I also believe Fats Waller wanted to make other
                Message 7 of 23 , Sep 4, 2008
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                  --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, Bob Mates <bluesbob@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hi, Dave: You have a good point: perhaps, Fats was a victim of
                  > his own persona; had to live up to his image. When that happens,
                  > you try to be funny. Of course, when you try, you usually
                  > aren't.
                  > This whole area of discussion about artists, trapped by their
                  > public persona, is an interesting one. Nadine Kohodas, in her
                  > biography of Dinah Washington, says that, in her later years,
                  > (seems funny to write that phrase, since Dinah died at age 38),
                  > she tried to live up to her nickname, "the queen". It changed
                  > her personality, and it made her spend so much money, that when
                  > she died, she was deep in debt. As for Fats, I've read that, by
                  > the end of his life, he was getting tired of the grind of
                  > touring. Perhaps, if he'd lived, he would have devoted more time
                  > to writing Broadway shows, which he really enjoyed. Perhaps,
                  > too, as the musical tastes had changed, he wouldn't have been
                  > expected to be funny all of the time, and you would have heard a
                  > lot of different stuff.

                  Interesting reading. I do believe that being funny is not a choice
                  anyone can make, it is a gift, and I also believe Fats Waller wanted
                  to make other people happy, and so was his music. IMO Fats Waller
                  wanted to be grouped with artists like James Johnson and Art Tatum
                  and not Teddy Wilson, but many would place him there, only when
                  seriously thinking about him the connection to the first group is
                  more understood. Pannasie and Schuller both had winding ways to deal
                  with this situation, I might later try to excerpt but the reason I
                  wanted to reply is because an article by John S. Wilson
                  titled 'Thomas "Fats" Waller':
                  <<<<begin excerpt:
                  Both Fats Waller and his principal tutor, James P. Johnson, lived
                  lives of aching frustrations. Johnson ached openly because he could
                  find no audience for his serious compositions, but Waller's desire to
                  find acceptance as a serious musician was burried under a heavy
                  coating of pervasive geniality.

                  ....

                  Gene Sedric, the saxophonist and clarinettist in Fats's little band
                  from 1938 to 1943, remembers times when Waller was so full of his
                  feeling for serious music that he couldn't help playing, even in a
                  nightclub, with all the musicality of which he was capable. But this
                  wasn't the Fats that the customers had paid to hear. 'people in the
                  audience would think he was lying down', Sedric says.b 'They'd
                  yell, "Come on Fats!". He'd take a swig of gin or something and say
                  resignedly,"Aw right, here it is"'
                  <<<<<<<<end excerpt

                  The article certainly leaves space for imagination, but still it
                  seems in the right spirit.

                  There are more details on the article which is too long to quote, for
                  instance about Fats attitude at the organ differently from the piano.
                  I have this article on "Reading Jazz"/ selected writings of several
                  writers edited by Robert Gotllieb and it is written "Also from
                  Shapiro and Hentoff's The Jazz Makers"

                  Tommer
                • Bob Mates
                  Well, it just goes back to what I said before. Obviously, Fats would have wanted to play serious music, but that s not what the public wanted, and, after
                  Message 8 of 23 , Sep 5, 2008
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                    Well, it just goes back to what I said before. Obviously, Fats
                    would have wanted to play "serious" music, but that's not what
                    the public wanted, and, after all they're the ones who paid him.
                    One could even bring racism into the discussion, because many
                    people figured that black folks were supposed to be happy, happy,
                    happy. By the way, while briefly on the subject of racism, it's
                    interesting and very sad to note that many of the jazz clubs, who
                    regularly hired black jazz musicians, wouldn't allow them to
                    patronize with the white customers. Apparently, George Brunies,
                    the trombonist, was an absolute out-and-out racist. I wonder
                    where he thought the music he loved to play came from. Back to
                    Fats: Fats's organ playing was much more serious than was a lot
                    of his piano playing. I think "Jitterbug Waltz" was ahead of its
                    time. Of course, if it's serious playing you're looking for,
                    listen to "London Suite".
                    Just briefly, it occurs to me that, if you believe the 1890 birth
                    date for Jelly Roll, you're going to have to scramble and come up
                    with a lot of new dates for his compositions.
                    Sorry to make a long post like this. Take care, everyone. Bob
                  • Tommer
                    ... Louis Armstrong was surfacing always happy, smiling, laughing, and also, Louis didn t care to abandon hot music and become sweeter with the times going by.
                    Message 9 of 23 , Sep 6, 2008
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                      --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, Bob Mates <bluesbob@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > One could even bring racism into the discussion, because many
                      > people figured that black folks were supposed to be happy, happy,
                      > happy. By the way, while briefly on the subject of racism, it's
                      > interesting and very sad to note that many of the jazz clubs, who
                      > regularly hired black jazz musicians, wouldn't allow them to
                      > patronize with the white customers.

                      Louis Armstrong was surfacing always happy, smiling, laughing, and
                      also, Louis didn't care to abandon hot music and become sweeter with
                      the times going by. But Louis Armstrong will forever be a great
                      musician. Was Fats Waller was influenced by Armstrong's charisma,
                      (and not just the singing style)?

                      Bob, what does it mean to patronize with the white customers?

                      I also wonder whether there were "uncle tom" accusations against Fats
                      Waller. There were such at Louis Armstrong.
                      Tommer
                    • Bob Mates
                      It meant that many clubs wouldn t let their black musicians sit and have a drink with the white customers. They weren t allowed to mix with the customers at
                      Message 10 of 23 , Sep 6, 2008
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                        It meant that many clubs wouldn't let their black musicians sit
                        and have a drink with the white customers. They weren't allowed
                        to mix with the customers at all. I'm not aware of any "uncle
                        tom" accusations against Fats. Those charges were levelled again
                        Louis Armstrong, because he wouldn't participate in civil rights
                        demonstrations. This was long after Fats was dead. Bob
                      • Tommer
                        ... Bob, sure the movement of the 1950 s that was the beginning of black panthers and other movements like that that were using uncle tomming as a measure of
                        Message 11 of 23 , Sep 7, 2008
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                          --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, Bob Mates <bluesbob@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > It meant that many clubs wouldn't let their black musicians sit
                          > and have a drink with the white customers. They weren't allowed
                          > to mix with the customers at all. I'm not aware of any "uncle
                          > tom" accusations against Fats. Those charges were levelled again
                          > Louis Armstrong, because he wouldn't participate in civil rights
                          > demonstrations. This was long after Fats was dead. Bob
                          >

                          Bob, sure the movement of the 1950's that was the beginning of black
                          panthers and other movements like that that were using "uncle
                          tomming" as a measure of negative contribution to their causes which
                          they thought to be identical with African Americans causes, were
                          after Fats was long gone, however, on the historical level I was
                          wondering what historically and officially was the movement opinion
                          about Fats, hopefully someone has an answer.
                          Tommer
                        • Bob Mates
                          My understanding has always been that Fats was just as popular with blacks as he was with whites, while he was alive. He was universally loved. The one thing
                          Message 12 of 23 , Sep 7, 2008
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                            My understanding has always been that Fats was just as popular
                            with blacks as he was with whites, while he was alive. He was
                            universally loved.
                            The one thing that's important to know is that people's views of
                            music can change, depending upon your situation. For instance,
                            many black people rejected the blues as "slavery music". It
                            didn't jibe with the new image African-Americans wanted to
                            convey. Let me give you a more personal example. I'm a blind
                            person. Now, I love Ray Charles. I think he was a great
                            performer. However, many blind people go out of their way to say
                            that they don't like Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder or Jose
                            Feliciano. It has to do with the fact that many people will say
                            to you, "so, I guess that, being blind, you really dig Stevie
                            Wonder, huh?". So, you either say that you can't stand the guy,
                            or you go into this thing about how you do like him, but his
                            blindness has nothing to do with it.
                            In Fats's case, as times changed from might have changed the way
                            they perceived his music. But, as I said, my understanding is
                            that he was extremely popular while he was alive. Bob
                          • Robert Greenwood
                            ... black ... which ... Leaving aside the satirical possibilities (which greatly cheer me) of Bobby Seale or Huey P. Newton issuing an official edict on Fats
                            Message 13 of 23 , Sep 8, 2008
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                              --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "Tommer" <tommersl@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Bob, sure the movement of the 1950's that was the beginning of
                              black
                              > panthers and other movements like that that were using "uncle
                              > tomming" as a measure of negative contribution to their causes
                              which
                              > they thought to be identical with African Americans causes, were
                              > after Fats was long gone, however, on the historical level I was
                              > wondering what historically and officially was the movement opinion
                              > about Fats, hopefully someone has an answer.
                              > Tommer
                              >

                              Leaving aside the satirical possibilities (which greatly cheer me) of
                              Bobby Seale or Huey P. Newton issuing an "official" edict on Fats
                              Waller, the Panthers, although they did some good work, are not noted
                              for their contribution to jazz criticism. Someone will correct me if
                              I am wrong. I suspect they had more urgent matters to attend to and
                              that the constituency they sought among sections of the black
                              American working class were all listening to Motown anyway and
                              couldn't care less about Fats.
                              Robert Greenwood.
                            • Gilber M. Erskine
                              Message 14 of 23 , Sep 8, 2008
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                                <<<Let me give you a more personal example. I'm a blind person. ---Bob Mates>>>

                                You obviously must depend on someone reading these posts to you. How can you ever be sure that what that person is telling you is correct?
                                ----------GILBERT M. ERSKINE

                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: Bob Mates
                                To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Sunday, September 07, 2008 3:02 PM
                                Subject: re: [RedHotJazz] Re: shopworn sentimentalism (was Bob Fuller musicians and recording)


                                My understanding has always been that Fats was just as popular
                                with blacks as he was with whites, while he was alive. He was
                                universally loved.
                                The one thing that's important to know is that people's views of
                                music can change, depending upon your situation. For instance,
                                many black people rejected the blues as "slavery music". It
                                didn't jibe with the new image African-Americans wanted to
                                convey. Let me give you a more personal example. I'm a blind
                                person. Now, I love Ray Charles. I think he was a great
                                performer. However, many blind people go out of their way to say
                                that they don't like Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder or Jose
                                Feliciano. It has to do with the fact that many people will say
                                to you, "so, I guess that, being blind, you really dig Stevie
                                Wonder, huh?". So, you either say that you can't stand the guy,
                                or you go into this thing about how you do like him, but his
                                blindness has nothing to do with it.
                                In Fats's case, as times changed from might have changed the way
                                they perceived his music. But, as I said, my understanding is
                                that he was extremely popular while he was alive. Bob





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                              • Bob Mates
                                Actually, Gilbert, I have a computer, which reads the posts either in Braille or as speech. Therefore, the only one who can make a mistake is me! hahaha
                                Message 15 of 23 , Sep 8, 2008
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                                  Actually, Gilbert, I have a computer, which reads the posts
                                  either in Braille or as speech. Therefore, the only one who can
                                  make a mistake is me! hahaha There's a lot of good stuff about
                                  jazz available, either in Braille, or from people scanning it.
                                  Bob
                                • Gilber M. Erskine
                                  Thanks! ... From: Bob Mates To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com Sent: Monday, September 08, 2008 12:45 PM Subject: Re: [RedHotJazz] Re: shopworn sentimentalism (was
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Sep 8, 2008
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                                    Thanks!
                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                    From: Bob Mates
                                    To: RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com
                                    Sent: Monday, September 08, 2008 12:45 PM
                                    Subject: Re: [RedHotJazz] Re: shopworn sentimentalism (was Bob Fuller musicians and recording)


                                    Actually, Gilbert, I have a computer, which reads the posts
                                    either in Braille or as speech. Therefore, the only one who can
                                    make a mistake is me! hahaha There's a lot of good stuff about
                                    jazz available, either in Braille, or from people scanning it.
                                    Bob





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