There’ll Be Some Changes Made

16 08 2012

There’ll Be Some Changes Made—B. Overstreet/B. Higgins, 1921 (Recorded July 19, 2012, re-mixed August 16) Here’s an old number I learned principally from listening to Mildred Bailey’s recording, but lots of other jazz people did it through the ages. Fats Waller’s and Ethel Waters’s versions are among my faves.

I know so many people these days who are going through rough times. This one is for all my friends out there who are looking for a little change of pace.

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Willow Tree

19 04 2012

Willow Tree—T. Waller/A. Razaf, 1928 (recorded April 19, 2012) I recorded this Fats Waller blues while in the last stages of my recovery from an upper resp infection, hence the raspy vocal. And hence the pallid, unshaven look. Bleah.

Thanks to the great Mildred Bailey for introducing me to this tune.





My Very Good Friend the Milkman

3 02 2012

My Very Good Friend the Milkman—H. Spina/J. Burke, 1934 (Recorded February 3, 2012) Here’s an old tune I grabbed from a Fats Waller recording. My very good friend and amazing pianist Larry Fridkis and I have worked out a piano-uke-vocal version of this that is very hot, and one day I’ll have to see about getting a proper recorded cut of us playing it together. Another very good friend of mine, Roger Greenawalt, told me that now Paul McCartney has done this tune. Whilst looking for Paul’s version, I came across a YouTube video of Eric Clapton playing it! Geez, who’s next? Rod &*%€§@¶ Stewart? As I told Roger, those guys are behind the times…I’ve been uking this tune for twenty years. ;°)





Ain’t Misbehavin’

19 01 2012

Ain’t Misbehavin’ (I’m Savin’ My Love for You)—T. Waller/H. Brooks/A. Razaf, 1929 (Recorded January 19, 2012) This Fats Waller standard has to be one of the tunes from the jazz age that is most well-known among people alive today, partly because of Leon Redbone’s version, which he performed on a Saturday Night Live show in 1976, and also because of the massively popular 1978 Broadway musical revue of the same title. Lots of 20th Century musicians recorded it—jazz people, pop stars, R&B singers, and even rock ‘n’ rollers. It’s a classic, one that influenced me toward the jazzier side of sounds early in my musical career.

From Wikipedia:

In a 1941 interview with Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Fats [Waller] claimed the song was written while “lodging” in alimony prison, and that is why he was not “misbehaving.”

Hahaha.

I recorded this cut for the Ukulele Cosmos’s monthly Open Invitational. Go to that site to hear lots of cool ukulele-centric takes on this venerable chestnut.

UPDATE: I’ve uploaded a third version of the song. Unhappy with the other two, I thought I’d give it one more shot. This recording is a once-through track with no overdubs or cut-ins. I just added a bit of EQ and a smidge of reverb. Not sure if it’s really any better than the others, but what the hey.





Gee Baby Ain’t I Good to You

22 09 2011

Gee Baby Ain’t I Good to You—A. Razaf/D. Redman, 1929 (Recorded September 22, 2011) After this song was written in ’29 and first recorded by McKinney’s Cotton Pickers, it was not touched again until 1944 when Nat Cole had a hit with it. As Andy Razaf was a frequent writing partner with Fats Waller, I’m surprised that Waller never cut this tune…at least I’ve never heard a Fats version. I recorded this straight using an appropriate 1920s Lyon & Healy Washburn soprano ukulele, then I overdubbed the song through with a little maple banjo uke and distorted the sound on that for some background tone and rhythm. Added some percussion after the fact, and that was that.





Every Day’s a Holiday

16 06 2011

Every Day’s a Holiday—S. Coslow/B. Trivers, 1937 (Recorded June 16, 2011) This tune was the theme for the Mae West movie of the same name. The song only appears in the background in the movie, though, and even though Louis Armstrong appears in the film, I have not been able to come across any versions of Pops playing it.

Fats Waller recorded this tune twice, as far as I can tell, and the inestimable Al Bowlly did it as well. It’s a fun, swingy, happy tune that should be played every day, whether it’s a holiday or not! (Note: I added my own lyrics to the last chorus and verse; I felt it needed an extra boost toward the end so I concocted some new words, in the spirit of the original.)





Honeysuckle Rose

4 05 2011

Honeysuckle Rose—T. Waller/A. Razaf, 1928 (Recorded May 4, 2011) The classic honey-drippin’ swinger from Fats Waller. What more could be said? Mercy!

(A shout out to my good pal, the fine guitarist Steve Feuerstein, with whom I have recently re-established contact, for teaching me the basis of this tune 20 some-odd years ago.)