10 Great Songs

Nat King Cole

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10 Great Songs Review

by Thom Jurek

First things first: Nat King Cole’s volume in Capitol's 10 Great Songs series doesn’t contain “Unforgettable.” Now that the elephant in the room is out of the bag, it’s safe to say that this makes no difference whatsoever. This deck of tracks is full of killers from Cole’s high-profile years: “Mona Lisa,” his impeccable reading of “Nature Boy,” the finger-popping “Let’s Face the Music and Dance,” “Smile,” “When I Fall in Love,” and the truly amazing “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.” These are polished productions with string and horn orchestrations, but the schmaltz doesn’t hurt the songs because Cole's piano and voice are still full of jazz feel and rhythm. When he’s dramatic there is still that element of detached cool that set him apart from his peers. Nothing here is unavailable elsewhere; it’s simply a very inexpensive way to present Cole’s music in a different way for a great price.

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