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I would like to have some information about this recording by Fats Waller (along with several other musicians):

https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=AG4wQSGIeCc

The recording lasts 4:01, and I can hear Fats Waller on piano/vocals. I can also hear: trombone, clarinet, trumpet, drums and guitar (actually I'm not sure about the guitar).

Specifically, I would like to know:

  • the date of the recording
  • the place where the recording was made
  • the names/instruments of the other musicians

(A side note: this is some lovely music, IMO.)

The only way I can imagine to find out this info for myself would be to track down a Fats Waller discography and look through it, and identify candidate ensembles/dates. As I'm not very knowledgeable about this genre it could take me rather a long time to do this.

More generally I would be interested in strategies that could be applied to answering these same questions for other tracks on the YouTube Music platform, or other platforms. I find it frustrating how these platforms are so poor on giving basic information about the music they provide.

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This version was recorded for the 1943 movie "Stormy Weather", most likely at the 20th Century Fox studios

The personnel (according to Discogs is:

  • Fats Waller - piano/vocals
  • Gene Porter - clarinet
  • Benny Carter - trumpet
  • Alton "Slim" Moore - trombone
  • Irving Ashby - guitar
  • Slam Stewart - bass
  • Zutty Singleton - drums

Here's the movie version which cuts from about 0:05 to 1:23 in the audio version:

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  • Your answer is very helpful. Just one remark, listening closely to the beginning of the movie version and the youtube music version around 1:23, it seems clear to me that these are two distinct takes. Aug 23, 2021 at 22:09
  • @goPlayerJuggler if you listen to the first few seconds of both, you'll find they are the same. The film version isn't a different take; it just has a big cut of roughly 80 seconds.
    – phoog
    Aug 24, 2021 at 1:28
  • @phoog I have listened very closely and I disagree with you. It's the same arrangement in both takes, except that the non-film version also has the ~80 second piano section at the beginning (which is wonderful BTW). You can tell they're different takes by listening to how the piano plays just before the four-note descending pattern that both versions share (at the beginning of the film version, and around 1:23 in the non-film version). Aug 24, 2021 at 8:06
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    @goPlayerJuggler I agree with phoog, they're the same take, except the film cuts from 0:04 to 1:22. But this discussion is irrelevant: even if it were two different takes, they were obviously made at the same time with the same musicians.
    – PiedPiper
    Aug 24, 2021 at 10:40
  • @goPlayerJuggler I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "the four note pattern that both versions share" but if we call the versions F and A, for film and audio, then yes, A between 1:18 and 1:23 is different from F between 0:00 and 0:05. That's because the first 5 seconds of F are the same as the first 5 seconds of A. F was derived from A by taking the first 5 seconds, skipping 78 seconds, and then continuing (give or take a second).
    – phoog
    Aug 24, 2021 at 13:10

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