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Friday, April 14, 2006

Listening to live Fats Waller from the late '30s, struck by how much his vocal asides resemble Louis Armstrong's -- in cadence, speed, phrasing, sometimes exact wording. "Well look-a here boys . . . " crops up for both of them. Armstrong sang a bunch of Waller songs and starred in the 1929 Broadway show that introduced "Ain't Misbehaving"; my understanding is that they were friends.

Friends end up sounding like each other -- it happens all the time. I wonder in which direction the influence primarily flowed.

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