A Mis Amigos

Nat King Cole

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A Mis Amigos Review

by William Ruhlmann

Nat King Cole's first foray into singing in Spanish, Cole Español, was successful enough to lead to this follow-up, on which a slightly different approach was taken. For Cole Español, Capitol Records imported instrumental tracks recorded in Cuba and had Cole sing over them, having learned the lyrics phonetically. A Mis Amigos, however, was recorded in Rio de Janeiro during Cole's South American tour of 1959, with Brazilian musicians in the studio alongside the singer. That, the benefit of experience, and the reception his concerts were receiving may have helped improve his performances. He still didn't have much feeling for Spanish (or, in three instances, Portuguese), but some of the material was more familiar to him, notably "Aquellos Ojos Verdes," better known in the U.S. as the Jimmy Dorsey hit "Green Eyes," and "Fantastico," a specially written number brought in by American songwriters Jack Keller and Noel Sherman.

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