Nat King Cole: Long Live the King

Nat King Cole: Long Live the King

by Allan Harris
     
 

Allan Harris has oft been told his vocal style bears close resemblance to the late Nat King Cole, so he has followed that sentiment by concocting a program from Cole's repertoire for performance. These sessions from the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. have him interpreting most of Cole's most well-known numbers, with half of them being ballads. There is no fault… See more details below

Overview

Allan Harris has oft been told his vocal style bears close resemblance to the late Nat King Cole, so he has followed that sentiment by concocting a program from Cole's repertoire for performance. These sessions from the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. have him interpreting most of Cole's most well-known numbers, with half of them being ballads. There is no fault with that, primarily because Harris sounds quite similar, but not perfectly like Nat. His personalized lyric phrasing is his own, while his good piano playing is not as masterful as his hero, which would be a daunting task anyway. Saxophonist Jesse Jones plays a more perfunctory rather than complementary role in the band, and at times is a bit overbearing for the general dynamics of the music. The concert is an up-and-down affair, gaining and losing momentum to the point where a coach would drastically improve the pacing. Overall the sound of the band is tight and unassuming, pleasant, light and carefree. There is a drawback with the production values, as the recording is a bit thin and not completely clear and robust. The typical songs you expect are here -- "For Sentimental Reasons," "Love," "Walkin' My Baby Back Home," "Mona Lisa," "Unforgettable," etc., with "I'll Be Seeing You" less like Nat and more like Harris. "Non Dimenticar/Pretend" comes closest to a direct cop of Cole, sporting a nice Latin baseline. Of the more lively selections, the opener "It's Only a Paper Moon" differs in that Harris improvises in his own way on the second chorus. The other variation "Nature Boy" is adapted in bold and dramatic modal trim, with the fluttery, overblown sax of Jones shooting a spark. The introductory arrangement on "Straighten Up & Fly Right" is somewhat unique with a stop-start technique employed, while Jones eschews a boppish Richie Cole-like line during "Too Young." Putting this up against a Nat or Freddy Cole recording might be unfair, for Harris does exude his own soul, but as a single concept phase in his career, it's a decent, unobtrusive aside.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/12/2010
Label:
Love Productions
UPC:
0821689051820
catalogNumber:
518
Rank:
117204

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Allan Harris   Primary Artist,Vocals
Jesse Jones   Flute,Saxophone
Jim Gasior   Piano

Technical Credits

Ray Noble   Composer
Harold Arlen   Composer
Fred E. Ahlert   Composer
William Best   Composer
Sammy Fain   Composer
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg   Composer
Irving Kahal   Composer
Jay Livingston   Composer
Roy Turk   Composer
Deek Watson   Composer
Greg Hartman   Engineer
Allan Harris   Arranger
Eden Ahbez   Composer
Irving Gordon   Composer
Shelley Dobbins   Composer
Peter Karl   Mastering
Jim Gasior   Arranger
Pat Harris   Producer
P.G. Redi   Composer
Heather Sullivan   Graphic Design

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