Album Details

RELEASE
June 29, 2010
LABEL
Hip-O Select
GENRES
Jazz, Jazz Instrument, Traditional Pop, Piano Jazz, Jive, Vocal Jazz, Swing, Modern Jazz Vocals

Album Review

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, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Sweet Lorrainehttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  2. This Side Uphttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  3. Honeysuckle Rosehttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  4. Gone with the Drafthttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  5. Gone with the Draft [Alternate Take] [Alternate Take]https://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  6. Babshttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  7. Early Morning Blueshttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  8. Scotchin' with the Sodahttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  9. Slow Downhttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  10. This Will Make You Laughhttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  11. Hit the Ramphttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  12. I Like to Riffhttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  13. Stop! the Red Light's Onhttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  14. Call the Policehttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  15. Are You fer It?https://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  16. That Ain't Righthttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  17. Hit That Jive, Jackhttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  18. Honey Hushhttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  19. Thunderhttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  20. Stompin' at the Panamahttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  21. (Bedtime) Sleep, Baby Sleephttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  22. Honey Hush [Alternate Take] [Alternate Take]https://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  23. The Way You Look Tonighthttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  24. Airiness a la Nathttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  25. I Can't Believe That You're in Love with Mehttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  26. My Old Flamehttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  27. Lester Leaps In [Live]https://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  28. Tea for Two [Live]https://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  29. Blues (First B-flat Blues): Blues, Pt. 1/Blues, Pt. 2/Blues, Pt. 3 [Livhttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  30. Body and Soul [Live]https://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  31. Sweet Lorraine [Live]https://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  32. The Man I Love [Live]https://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  33. I've Found a New Baby [Live]https://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  34. Rosetta [Live]https://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  35. Bugle Call Rag [Live]https://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  36. One O'Clock Jump [Live]https://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  37. Oh, Lady, Be Good [Live]https://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  38. I've Found a New Babyhttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  39. Sweet Lorrainehttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  40. Rosettahttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  41. I Blowed and Gonehttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  42. I Cover the Waterfronthttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  43. Somebody Loves Mehttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  44. I've Found a New Babyhttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  45. Back to the Landhttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  46. I Want to Be Happyhttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  47. Peg O'My Hearthttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  48. Mean to Mehttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  49. The Man I Lovehttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  50. I Cover the Waterfront [Alternate Take] [Alternate Take][Version]https://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  51. The Way You Look Tonight [Alternate Take] [Alternate Take]https://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  52. Airiness a la Nat [Alternate Take] [Alternate Take]https://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
  53. I Can't Believe That You're in Love with Me [Alternate Take] [Alternatehttps://itunes.apple.com/album/riffin-decca-jatp-keynote/id628164633?uo=5&at=11l9vR
purchase full album