CD Riffin': The Decca, JATP, Keynote & Mercury Recordings (CD 6667585),
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Riffin': The Decca, JATP, Keynote & Mercury Recordings


  • 0. DISC 1:
    1. Sweet Lorraine
    2. This Side Up
    3. Honeysuckle Rose
    4. Gone with the Draft
    5. Gone with the Draft [Alternate Take] - (alternate take)
    6. Babs
    7. Early Morning Blues
    8. Scotchin' with the Soda
    9. Slow Down
    10. This Will Make You Laugh
    11. Hit the Ramp
    12. I Like to Riff
    13. Stop! the Red Light's On
    14. Call the Police
    15. Are You fer It?
    16. That Ain't Right
    17. Hit That Jive, Jack
    18. Honey Hush - (featuring Eddie Cole's Solid Swingers)
    19. Thunder - (featuring Eddie Cole's Solid Swingers)
    20. Stompin' at the Panama - (featuring Eddie Cole's Solid Swingers)
    21. (Bedtime) Sleep, Baby Sleep - (featuring Eddie Cole's Solid Swingers)
    22. Honey Hush [Alternate Take] - (alternate take, featuring Eddie Cole's Solid Swingers)
    23. Way You Look Tonight, The
    24. Airiness a la Nat
    25. I Can't Believe That You're in Love with Me
    26. My Old Flame
    0. DISC 2:
    1. Lester Leaps In
    2. Tea for Two
    3. Blues (First B-flat Blues): Blues, Pt. 1/Blues, Pt. 2/Blues, Pt. 3
    4. Body and Soul
    5. Sweet Lorraine
    6. Man I Love, The
    7. I've Found a New Baby
    8. Rosetta
    9. Bugle Call Rag
    10. One O'Clock Jump
    11. Oh, Lady, Be Good
    0. DISC 3:
    1. I've Found a New Baby
    2. Sweet Lorraine - (featuring Dexter Gordon)
    3. Rosetta - (featuring Dexter Gordon)
    4. I Blowed and Gone
    5. I Cover the Waterfront - (featuring Lester Young Trio)
    6. Somebody Loves Me - (featuring Lester Young Trio)
    7. I've Found a New Baby - (featuring Lester Young Trio)
    8. Back to the Land - (featuring Lester Young Trio)
    9. I Want to Be Happy - (featuring Lester Young Trio)
    10. Peg O'My Heart - (featuring Lester Young Trio)
    11. Mean to Me - (featuring Lester Young Trio)
    12. Man I Love, The - (featuring Lester Young Trio)
    13. I Cover the Waterfront [Alternate Take] - (alternate take, featuring Lester Young Trio)
    14. Way You Look Tonight [Alternate Take], The - (alternate take)
    15. Airiness a la Nat [Alternate Take] - (alternate take)
    16. I Can't Believe That You're in Love with Me [Alternate Take] - (alternate take)
    Read More...
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 13384

  • Credits
    ProducerHarry Weinger (Compilation)
    Engineer

    Personnel: Nat King Cole (piano).
    Audio Remasterer: Kevin Reeves.
    Liner Note Authors: David Ritz; Norman Granz.
    Recording information: Chicago, IL (02/16/1946); Hollywood Recorders, Los Angeles, CA (02/16/1946); Los Angeles (02/16/1946); Los Angeles, CA (02/16/1946); New York, NY (02/16/1946); The Philharmonic Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA (02/16/1946); Chicago, IL (03/14/1941); Hollywood Recorders, Los Angeles, CA (03/14/1941); Los Angeles (03/14/1941); Los Angeles, CA (03/14/1941); New York, NY (03/14/1941); The Philharmonic Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA (03/14/1941); Chicago, IL (03/1946-04/1946); Hollywood Recorders, Los Angeles, CA (03/1946-04/1946); Los Angeles (03/1946-04/1946); Los Angeles, CA (03/1946-04/1946); New York, NY (03/1946-04/1946); The Philharmonic Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA (03/1946-04/1946); Chicago, IL (07/02/1944); Hollywood Recorders, Los Angeles, CA (07/02/1944); Los Angeles (07/02/1944); Los Angeles, CA (07/02/1944); New York, NY (07/02/1944); The Philharmonic Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA (07/02/1944); Chicago, IL (07/16/1941); Hollywood Recorders, Los Angeles, CA (07/16/1941); Los Angeles (07/16/1941); Los Angeles, CA (07/16/1941); New York, NY (07/16/1941); The Philharmonic Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA (07/16/1941); Chicago, IL (07/28/1936); Hollywood Recorders, Los Angeles, CA (07/28/1936); Los Angeles (07/28/1936); Los Angeles, CA (07/28/1936); New York, NY (07/28/1936); The Philharmonic Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA (07/28/1936); Chicago, IL (07/30/1944); Hollywood Recorders, Los Angeles, CA (07/30/1944); Los Angeles (07/30/1944); Los Angeles, CA (07/30/1944); New York, NY (07/30/1944); The Philharmonic Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA (07/30/1944); Chicago, IL (10/22/1941); Hollywood Recorders, Los Angeles, CA (10/22/1941); Los Angeles (10/22/1941); Los Angeles, CA (10/22/1941); New York, NY (10/22/1941); The Philharmonic Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA (10/22/1941); Chicago, IL (12/06/1940); Hollywood Recorders, Los Angeles, CA (12/06/1940); Los Angeles (12/06/1940); Los Angeles, CA (12/06/1940); New York, NY (12/06/1940); The Philharmonic Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA (12/06/1940).
    Illustrator: Philip Manning.
    Photographers: Rolland Shreves; William Gottlieb.
    Nat King Cole spent virtually all of his career with a contract from Capitol. (The classic Capitol Records tower, near Sunset & Vine in Hollywood, wasn't known as "the house that Nat built" for nothing.) But his earliest sides appeared on a range of labels, including, but not limited to, Decca, Keynote, and Mercury. (Aside from what's heard here, the King Cole Trio recorded dozens of effervescent songs between 1938 and 1941 for transcription services, music that has only rarely been commercially issued.) Riffin': The Decca, JATP, Keynote and Mercury Recordings puts a wrapper around a fair share of his non-Capitol sides, some of them early (Decca) and some of them live (JATP) and some of them as a sideman (complete with hilarious noms de plume) for Lester Young and others (Mercury). Best are the early King Cole Trio sides, from 1940-1941, when the group was still writing songs and delivering them with the energy and flair of a club act, making mini-masterpieces from off-the-cuff songs "I Like to Riff," "Call the Police," and "Stop! The Red Light's On." Novelties for sure, but novelties with tight group interplay that showed what small-group swing could do, along with bouncing solos from Cole's piano that earned him fame and influence far beyond what the singer of "Unforgettable" could have garnered. Also well-deserving of attention is his 1946 session with Lester Young (and drummer Buddy Rich) for a Mercury album that sees him giving Young the best accompaniment he would ever receive. The JATP sides cover a Jazz at the Philharmonic concert from 1944 where Cole's piano was heard (faintly) with a jam session including flamboyant, roof-raising solos from Les Paul, Illinois Jacquet, and J.J. Johnson, among others. (Cole's modesty in these circumstances is humbling.) This three-disc wrap-up isn't a unified set -- despite the material ranging only from 1936 to 1944 -- but it captures His Majesty in a range of circumstances; quite fitting for the man esteemed by jazz fans as one of the greatest pianists of all time, and by vocal fans as likely the best interpreter of popular song in the 20th century. ~ John Bush

  • Critic Reviews
    Down Beat (p.73) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his smart three-CD collection catches a very un-Capitol Cole in transition when he was still working as a serious jazz pianist."
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