Bluebird Double Centennial Collections: Fats Waller and Glenn Miller

Charlie B. Dahan By

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Bluebird / RCA digs into it’s vaults and produces two wonderful collections of Jazz's earliest purveyors of composition and popularity. In addition to a remastered recording of some of these artists most loved songs, they've also included a DVD of various live performances. Each contains a detailed essay about the artist, the era and the recording contained in the package.

On Fats Waller's The Centennial Collection Bluebird celebrated not only the artists prolific career but what would have been his one hundredth year on this earth. The collection not only includes some of his most beloved recordings, but live performances from NBC, which include "Ain’t Misbehavin’," "Hold My Hand" and "What’s The Matter with You?". In addition to his recording with various ensembles, this collection includes some of Waller’s solo piano work. Some of the highlight’ from both solo and with full band include such classics as "This Joint is Jumpin’," "Beale Street Blues" and "Your Feets Too Big." Not only is it evident that Waller was a master of his instrument and writing or arranging a composition, but his vocals were effectively edgy and sometimes sarcastic. A true portrait of one of America’s greatest artists.

With Glenn Miller’s The Centennial Collection a pop bandleader’s career is explored and celebrated with some never before released material. The year 2004 also marks what would have been Miller’s one-hundredth birthday and with celebration in mind this recording has been compiled. Featured on this collection are some of the recordings that are synonymous with Miller, such as "Moonlight Serenade," "Chattanooga Choo Choo," "Pennsylvania 6-500" and "In the Mood." Bluebird has included not only three previously unreleased tracks (‘King Porter Stomp," "Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar" and "Moon Love") from various NBC live shows, but a modern remix of Miller’s "Pennsylvania 6-500." DJ Touché of the Wiseguys, who successfully continues the recent trend of adding modern flair and rhythm to a classic jazz recording, remixed this track.

Bluebird / BMG does an excellent job with this reissue series; the consumer gets a great buy for their money. The execution of song choice makes these recordings flow naturally and enjoyably. They add extra touches such as a full-length DVD, 24-bit remastering, good and insightful liner notes and on Miller’s collection, a remix. The booklet notes that they have also given the same reissue treatment to Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins and Artie Shaw – now must-have additions to my collection.

Tracking Listing

Fats Waller The Centennial Collection

1. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself... - 4:34
2. Got a Bran' New Suit - 2:36
3. Your Feet's Too Big - 3:06
4. Medley: Ain't Misbehavin'/Hold My Hand... - 7:47
5. Spring Cleaning (Getting Ready for Love) - 2:30
6. African Ripples - 3:10
7. You're Not the Only Oyster in the Stew - 3:17
8. The Joint Is Jumpin' - 2:49
9. Beale Street Blues - 3:17
10. Numb Fumblin' - 2:58
11. E-Flat Blues - 2:29
12. Lulu's Back in Town - 2:40
13. Loafin' Time - 2:29
14. I Ain't Got Nobody - 3:13
15. Carolina Shout - 2:20
16. (Do You Intend to Put an End To) A Sweet... - 2:51
17. If You're a Viper - 2:56
18. Undecided - 3:38
19. Then I'll Be Tired of You - 3:14
20. Up Jumped You With Love - 3:19
21. 'Tain't Nobody's Bizness if I Do - 3:00

Bonus DVD

Glenn Miller The Centennial Collection

1. Moonlight Serenade - 3:25
2. Chattanooga Choo Choo - 3:29
3. Juke Box Saturday Night - 3:06
4. Over the Rainbow - 2:31
5. Tuxedo Junction - 3:29
6. In the Mood - 3:39
7. Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread) - 2:34
8. Imagination - 2:50
9. The Boogie Wooglie Piggy - 3:26
10. A String of Pearls - 3:16
11. When You Wish Upon a Star - 2:54
12. Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree (With...) - 3:13
13. Pennsylvania 6-5000 - 3:15
14. Along the Santa Fe Trail - 3:22
15. Begin the Beguine - 3:36
16. At Last - 3:06
17. King Porter Stomp [live/#] - 2:44
18. Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar [live/#] - 2:53
19. Moon Love [live/#] - 2:44
20. Pennsylvania 6-5000 - 4:09

Bonus DVD

Visit Bluebird on the web at www.bluebirdjazz.com .


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