Fats Domino passed away last week. I meant to post something but my son, Jay, beat me to it. This is his post on jaypeterson.ca. Here is his guest post on Fats Domino. I should note that as the dad walking his son past the CD bargain bin in Sears, his adventures discovering new/old music was as much my adventure as it was his. Through him, I also discovered, “Charlie Parker, Carmen McRae, Count Basie with Jimmy Rushing, and Bix Beiderbecke to name a few.”
Jay Peterson Guest Post
When I was a teenager going to the mall with my parents we had to go through Sears to get to the other stores. There was a bin of CD’s that you could buy five for $20. The bin was full of reissue “Best of”‘s on labels you have never heard of but because it was so cheap it became a fantastic way of exploring music. It was CD’s from here that I first heard Charlie Parker, Carmen McRae, Count Basie with Jimmy Rushing, and Bix Beiderbecke to name a few. There were some blues compilations with great live recordings of B.B. King as well. This was by far the best part of Sears for me. My best find at this bin was a live Fats Domino album. It sounds like it was recorded in the middle of the Rock and Roll era because you can here the crowd losing their minds and screaming their heads off. The recording quality is decent and the band is really on their game. I haven’t been able to find any Fats Domino recordings that live up to this album. What is cool about it is the album contains a few medleys like this one:
You also hear the tenor saxophone work of Herbert Hardesty who died last December. One of my favourite solos of his is on the Hank Williams tune “Jambalaya” which he plays a very similar solo to in this video (wait for the dancing!):
My Dad introduced me to the recording “I’m Walkin'” which includes the work of the great New Orleans drummer Earl Palmer. He combines the second line parade beat into an R&B song:
Here is Earl Palmer demonstrating the groove:
Fats Domino’s arrangements are pretty much unaltered his entire career but they are so groovy I really don’t mind. He is never boring, always joyful and never fails to improve my mood. Here’s a video of him performing the first song he recorded in 1949 called “The Fat Man”. He continues to mean a lot to me.