This is one of Fats Waller’s last performances, from the 1943 musical Stormy Weather. This film was a rare Hollywood production featuring a predominantly African-American cast. The 75 minute film was short on plot, but filled with cool music and dance (20 numbers) from some of the major artists of the time, including Waller, Cab Calloway, Bill Bojangles Robinson, The Nicholas Brothers, and the young and beautiful Lena Horne. And keep an eye out for jazz legend Benny Carter, playing trumpet in Waller’s band.
If you’ve got a few minutes, please check out this entertaining talk from David Byrne (Talking Heads) about the relationship between the creation of music and the places where they are heard. He explains clearly that what you hear is greatly influenced by where you’re hearing it.