Nat King Cole

Transcriptions

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Between 1946 and 1950, the King Cole Trio recorded nearly 75 titles for Capitol's transcription service, songs that were then serviced to radio stations for airplay. Although Nat King Cole had formed the trio back in 1937, and the group had become immediately successful as a nightclub act, mainstream commercial success had eluded them until the mid- to late-'40s, when Cole's singing talents translated into three huge popular hits: "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons," "Nature Boy," and "Mona Lisa." (The first and last of these virtually bookend the period covered on this compilation.) In 1946, the sky appeared to be the limit for this trio of swingers who summoned a dynamic, refreshing sound -- full of power and also grace, humor as well as tender emotions -- using only 88 keys and ten strings; by 1950, though, Cole had virtually disbanded the group and, at live appearances or in the studio, usually stood up from the piano and delivered his songs at the microphone. The material on Transcriptions remained virtually unheard during the past 50 years, and this three-disc set marks its first appearance on CD in America. (While several transcription collections dealing with the King Cole Trio have been issued before, those date from a different time, the late '30s and early '40s.) Cole and his trio in performance, already an intimate, playful affair, were made even more so on these recordings; transcriptions as a general rule emphasized small groups playing loose arrangements with plenty of time for solos, and usually required only a single take. The bulk of the songs are standards, not all of them recorded by Cole elsewhere, and while versions of many of his medium-level hits appear here -- "Route 66," "Too Marvelous for Words," "Honeysuckle Rose," "Body and Soul," "What Is This Thing Called Love" -- the sound and feel of them is changed somewhat. Not as ebullient as the early King Cole Trio recordings, Transcriptions exists instead as an alternate history of the late King Cole Trio, full of warmth and displaying Cole's solo and vocal skills in abundance.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 0:54
2 3:21
3 3:16
4 3:32
5 2:31
6 3:49
7 3:22
8 2:30
9
2:49
10 2:17
11
2:23
12 3:21
13 2:05
14
2:47
15 2:31
16 3:16
17 3:19
18
2:51
19
2:19
20 3:12
21 2:23
22
2:03
23 1:57

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:59
2 3:26
3 2:52
4 2:35
5
3:46
6 3:00
7
2:52
8
3:01
9 3:41
10
3:17
11 2:12
12
2:48
13
2:21
14
3:02
15 2:54
16 2:55
17 3:00
18 1:47
19 3:09
20 3:13
21 2:58
22 2:58
23 2:52
24 2:12
25 2:57

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:50
2 3:11
3
2:25
4 2:58
5
2:42
6
3:03
7 2:57
8 2:42
9 3:23
10
2:34
11
3:15
12 3:06
13 2:35
14
2:30
15 2:36
16
2:23
17 2:14
18
2:14
19 2:16
20 3:08
21
2:47
22
2:29
23
3:08
blue highlight denotes track pick