And thanks to all who played! Many of you guessed Dizzy Gillespie, but this was indeed the great Theodore Fats Navarro – Fat Girl. The tune was “Lady Be Good” and it comes from a live August 1948 radio broadcast album called “Fats Navarro & Tadd Dameron at the Royal Roost 1948 Vol. 1.” And in case you were wondering, that Lester Young-inspired tenor sax player was Allan Eager. And it was Kenny Clarke on drums.
Navarro was only 24 at the time of this recording, but he would be dead in less than two years from tuberculosis (probably exacerbated by his unfortunate heroin addiction). While you can certainly hear some Dizzy Gillespie influence (especially on the phrasings going up to and coming down from high notes), the style here is really something new. And it’s all Navarro. When you hear this it’s pretty apparent who Clifford Brown listened to. It’s a shame that there isn’t much Fat Girl on record. That’s why live radio broadcasts like this are so cool. This is what the man really sounded like. He was a badass.