High, Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project.”
by Loudon Wainwright III
and featuring Paul Asaro on piano
Grammy Award Winner 2010: Best Traditional Folk Album
Longtime jazz critic for the Chicago Tribune, Howard Reich, gives rave reviews to the Fat Babies in his latest article.
“Paul Asaro’s ebullient stride-piano technique vividly evokes an earlier era.”
He concludes, “You don’t encounter pre-bebop jazz of this quality and commitment very often anymore. Thanks to the Fat Babies, trad jazz still plays hard in Chicago, the town that imported this music from New Orleans and nurtured it, perfected it and sent it around the world.”
“Chicago Hot” Paul Asaro and The Fat Babies along with the talented singers and dancers of “Ballyhoo” present an evening of hot swinging jazz, singing, and dancing in the style of 1920s and 1930s nightclubs. This is one of the rare opportunities to see the full Fat Babies and Ballyhoo ensemble together onstage so don’t miss out! The newly renovated Skokie Theater is located at 7924 Lincoln Avenue in Skokie and features ample free parking, wine, beer, and snacks. Tickets are available online for only $10. Hope to see you there!
Paul Asaro and The Fat Babies new Rivermont Records release “What A Heavenly Dream – The Fats Waller Rhythm Project” receives a fine review in Michael Steinman’s “Jazz Lives” blog.
The Fat Babies’ Delmark Records release has been named one of the best jazz albums of 2012 by the Chicago Tribune!
“What A Heavenly Dream” In this highly-anticipated Rivermont Records release, Paul Asaro and The Fat Babies pay homage to the recordings of “Fats” Waller and His Rhythm. Asaro takes center stage here with piano and vocals that recall the humor, wit, and sublime pianistic talents of Waller without ever resorting to slavish imitation. With him are The Fat Babies, favorites on the Chicago jazz scene, who fully capture the spontaneous excitement of the original Waller recordings with a fresh twist. In addition to Asaro at the piano, the band includes Andy Schumm, cornet; John Otto, clarinet; Jake Sanders, guitar; Beau Sample, bass; and Alex Hall, drums. CD includes a 12-page illustrated booklet with liner notes by Paul Asaro. 54 minutes. NOTE: This recording is available both as standard audio CD and also as an audiophile-grade vinyl LP limited to 500 copies (in your choice of crystal clear or standard black vinyl). BONUS: Each LP includes a complimentary CD copy of the entire album. Enjoy the album on vinyl and CD for the same price as the CD alone. Available at any Fat Babies appearance or visit www.rivermontrecords.com to order online.
The debut release by Chicago’s newest hot jazz group, The Fat Babies. The band was founded by string bassist and band leader, Beau Sample, and has held down a Sunday residency at Chicago’s Honky Tonk BBQ and a Tuesday residency at Chicago’s Green Mill ever since. The Fat Babies consists of Sample, bass; Andy Schumm, cornet; John Otto, clarinet/saxophone; Dave Bock, trombone; Paul Asaro, piano; Jake Sanders, tenor banjo; and Alex Hall, drums. Chicago Hot is a collection of 20s and 30s tunes mostly from Chicago’s south side. The band takes on recordings by King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Erskine Tate, Freddie Keppard, Jimmy Noone, and Bix Beiderbecke which are infectiously danceable and endlessly engaging. CD can be purchased at any Fat Babies appearance or online from Delmark Records at http://jazzmart.com/product/delmark.htm
The Blind Pig in Champaign, IL is my local saloon to relax and play on my own piano when I’m off the road. It’s usually much too dark to get a good video there so I’m happy to have this footage carefully shot by my brother, Peter Asaro. “Golden Wedding” is a classic arrangement by one of my all time favorite stride piano players, Donald Lambert.
Improvised blues live at the Blind Pig, Champaign, IL.
This is from my recent solo tour for Allied Concerts. More to come…
Paul just finished four days of shooting for the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire”. He will appear on screen as the pianist in a six piece band featuring Vince Giordano. Vince just won a Grammy for the musical soundtrack of this show. Keep a look out for season three…