After Midnight

After Midnight

3.5 2
by Nat King Cole
     
 

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Fans of the great Nat "King" Cole tend to divide into two camps: Those captivated by the warm, dusky voice -- his silky-smooth renditions of popular ballads made him a household name -- and others, jazz purists, who esteem his work as a remarkable pianist, a pioneer in jazz-trio arrangements. Wherever you choose to pitch your tent, this atypical session, recorded for… See more details below

Overview

Fans of the great Nat "King" Cole tend to divide into two camps: Those captivated by the warm, dusky voice -- his silky-smooth renditions of popular ballads made him a household name -- and others, jazz purists, who esteem his work as a remarkable pianist, a pioneer in jazz-trio arrangements. Wherever you choose to pitch your tent, this atypical session, recorded for Capitol in 1956, will gratify. Nat acts as his own accompanist for a program of lightly swinging vocal standards backed by the members of his famous trio and noteworthy guests. "Caravan," made famous by the Ellington band, is a standout arrangement. The presence of composer Juan Tizol on trombone and a battery of Latin percussionists help carry its exotic flavor. Cole's tender version of "Sweet Lorraine" includes trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison; violinist Stuff Smith adds a chatty solo to a swinging "I Know That You Know." Breezy and intimate, these sessions capture the relaxed after-hours quality alluded to in the album's title.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ken Dryden
Once Nat King Cole gave up playing piano on a regular basis and instead focused on a series of easy listening vocal albums, jazz fans longed for him to return to his first love. These 1956 studio sessions made up Cole's last jazz-oriented disc, where he played piano and sang on every number, joined by several guest soloists. Cole's vocals are impeccable and swinging, while his piano alternates between providing subdued backgrounds and light solos that don't reveal his true potential on the instrument. Willie Smith's smooth alto sax buoys the singer in the brisk take of "Just You, Just Me." Harry "Sweets" Edison's muted trumpet complements the leader in his interpretation of "Sweet Lorraine." Composer Juan Tizol's valve trombone and former Cole sideman Jack Costanzo's bongos add just the right touch to the brisk take of "Caravan." Stuff Smith's humorous, unusually understated violin is a nice touch in "When I Grow Too Old to Dream." It's hard for any Nat King Cole fan to ignore these important sessions. [The original version of this release featured a dozen tracks, later expanded to 17 in the '80s with the discovery of some unreleased material. Yet another track, the alternate take of "You're Looking at Me," was also found and added to reissues beginning in the late '90s.]

Product Details

Release Date:
06/29/1999
Label:
Blue Note Records
UPC:
0724352008728
catalogNumber:
20087
Rank:
26341

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Nat King Cole   Primary Artist,Indexed Contributor,Piano,Vocals,Track Performer
Harry Edison   Trumpet
Willie Smith   Alto Saxophone
John Collins   Guitar
Jack Costanzo   Bongos,Conga
Stuff Smith   Violin
Juan Tizol   Valve Trombone
Lee Young   Drums
Charlie Harris   Bass,Drums

Technical Credits

Earl Hines   Composer
Lenny Hambro   Composer
Michael Cuscuna   Liner Notes,Reissue Producer
Ray Evans   Composer
Jay Livingston   Composer
Ron McMaster   Mastering
Pete Welding   Liner Notes
Lee Gillette   Producer
Larry Walsh   Remastering
Charles Carpenter   Composer
Ralph J. Gleason   Liner Notes,Original Liner Notes
Patrick Roques   Reissue Design
Louis Dunlap   Composer
Roberta Heller   Composer
Nast   Composer
James Ramsey Murray   Composer

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