Sunday, March 25, 2007

Cole Mining

Frank Sinatra is probably the best known and best-selling male vocalist of the 40s, 50s, and 60s combined, but I'd put my money on Nat King Cole as the absolute best vocalist to ever put a track to record.

Most people know Cole's later work with Capitol Records--a body of work that includes almost all of his major hits--but some of his most outstanding performances can be found on Cool Cole, a collection of 104 tracks from the King Cole Trio originally recorded between 1941 and 1950. This set includes my favorite Cole tune of all time, "Mona Lisa," but it includes so many other gems, all recorded by one of the tightest jazz trios of all time.

I have the eleven-disc set that includes Nat Cole's entire body of work for Capitol, including his only live disc and the most unusual disc of his career--a song-by-song cover of My Fair Lady--so I thought I had everything I needed. I was wrong. As great as that set is, this set is even better.

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