Nat Gonella

Crazy Valves

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Nat Gonella was in ways the Wingy Manone of Great Britain. An excellent trumpeter and a spirited singer, Gonella was (like Manone) inspired by Louis Armstrong and played in a similar style, between Dixieland and swing. Unfortunately, not much of his output (which includes hundreds of numbers cut during the 1932-42 period) has been reissued on CD, so one needs to rely on English LPs. This particular album is quite definitive, containing 18 of Gonella's best records from when he was 26-29 years old. Gonella's theme song, "Georgia On My Mind," is here, as are memorable versions of "How'm I Doin'," "Crazy Valves," "Nagasaki," "The Sheik of Araby" and "Trumpetuous." Worth searching for by pre-bop collectors.