Best of the Nat King Cole Trio: The Instrumental Classics

The Best of the Nat King Cole Trio: The Instrumental Classics

by Nat King Cole
     
 
Everyone knows about Nat King Cole the magisterial singer, but the popular vocalist first came to prominence in the jazz community as an inventive pianist and group stylist. Possessing a gorgeous touch, unerring taste, melodic imagination and a harmonic and rhythmic approach that hinted at the forthcoming innovations of bebop, Cole was a favorite among musicians and

Overview

Everyone knows about Nat King Cole the magisterial singer, but the popular vocalist first came to prominence in the jazz community as an inventive pianist and group stylist. Possessing a gorgeous touch, unerring taste, melodic imagination and a harmonic and rhythmic approach that hinted at the forthcoming innovations of bebop, Cole was a favorite among musicians and discerning listeners. His influence can be heard in players as disparate as Ray Charles and Bill Evans. In addition, Cole was the architect of a highly influential group sound, one that he developed with guitarist guitarist Oscar Moore and bassist Johnny Miller. Cole's reliance on carefully orchestrated arrangements gave his original trio a distinctive light-toned and swinging sound that influenced countless other small ensembles, among them the popular trios of pianists Oscar Peterson and Ahmad Jamal, and '90s favorite Diana Krall. Whether essaying ballads ("Body and Soul," "The Man I Love," "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,") blues ("This Way Out," "Easy Listening Blues") or swingers ("What Is This thing Called Love," "Honeysuckle Rose") the trio always balanced musicianly fervor with poise. Cole eventually began to feature his own singing with the trio-- the rest is pop music history. The final two CDs of this triple-disc set are devoted to Cole's wonderful vocal features with the trio including, "Straighten Up and Fly Right," "Sweet Lorraine" and "Route 66."

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Cook
For those needing a reminder of Cole's very original and expert piano playing, this 18-track roundup of some of his best instrumentals should fit the bill. Part of Capitol's three-volume series of Cole's classic trio sides (the other two cover the vocals), The Best of the Nat King Cole Trio includes gem after gem from the group's 1943-1949 prime and features the classic lineup that included guitarist Oscar Moore and bassist Johnny Miller. With Cole and Moore seamlessly blending lines throughout, the group forged the standard for many a piano trio to follow by way of classics like "Jumpin' at Capitol," "Sweet Georgia Brown," and "These Foolish Things." Complemented by three sides featuring Cole's later trio mates -- guitarist Irving Ashby and bassist Joe Comfort, plus guest percussionist Jack Costanza -- this instrumental best-of is essential listening for fans of Cole's vintage, pre-"Mona Lisa" material. For more of Cole's fine instrumental work from this period, be sure to also check out Capitol's horns-and-piano title Jazz Encounters.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/25/1992
Label:
Blue Note Records
UPC:
0077779828821
catalogNumber:
98288

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