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Famous drummer




Nick Fatool

Born Jan 2, 1915 in Milbury, MA

Died Sep 26, 2000 in Los Angeles, CA

A top drummer of the 1930's and 40's, Nick Fatool was best-known for his association with Bob Crosby and dixieland settings. Oddly enough, he did not regularly work with Crosby until 1949 and he spent most of his formative years playing in swing-oriented big bands. Fatool started out playing drums in Providence, Rhode Island and then had stints with Joe Haymes in 1937 and Don Beston's band in Dallas. In 1939, after briefly working with Bobby Hackett, Fatool hit the big time by joining Benny Goodman's Orchestra. He made his recording debut with BG and also recorded with Ziggy Elman's studio bands and Lionel Hampton (1940). Fatool was the drummer with quite a few major big bands including Artie Shaw (1940-41), Claude Thornhill, Les Brown, Jan Savitt and Alvino Rey (1942-43). He moved to Los Angeles in 1943, became a studio musician and from then on recorded extensively and performed in a variety of settings, many of which were dixieland-oriented. Among his countless number of associations were Harry James, Erroll Garner (1946), Louis Armstrong (in 1949 and 1951), Jess Stacy, Tommy Dorsey, Matty Matlock's many recordings in the 1950's, Glen Gray's nostalgic big band projects, such soundtracks as Pete Kelly's Blues and The Five Pennies, and most importantly Bob Crosby. He was with Crosby during much of 1949-51 and on and off with Crosby's Bobcats (in the spot formerly occupied by Ray Bauduc) during the next three decades. Fatool also appeared at many all-star dixieland concerts of the 1950's and played fairly regularly with Pete Fountain (1962-65) and the Dukes Of Dixieland. In 1987 Nick Fatool finally had his one and only chance to lead a recording date, a septet jam that also included Eddie Miller, Johnny Mince and Ernie Carson. That music, plus a quintet outing headed by Bud Freeman from 1982, have been combined on the Jazzology CD Nick Fatool's Jazz Band & Quartet. By Scott Yanow The All Music Guide



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