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The Importance of Nat King Cole

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Nat King Cole and Oscar Moore Photo Courtesy of LaBudde Special Collections UMKC University Libraries

In producing this enormous boxed, Resonance Records and the genuine music-loving aficionados who drive the label – such as George Klabin, Zev Feldman and, for his engineering skills, Fran Gala – have once again established that the real wholeness of music resides in closing the circle between art and industry. These Resonance-produced reissues show that the line that separates the early and late artistry of Nat King Cole is really-speaking a blurred one. But it is one that continues to be created only by those who worship the (clearly) false god of commerce and profit over the God-given gift (in this case) of music. Resonance seems not to pursue this line of business. All the better for those of us who worship at that altar; the altar of art and creativity.

Track list – Disc One – 1: Honey Hush (1936, Decca master take); 2: Stompin’ at the Panama (Skollers Shuffle) (1936, Decca master take); 3: Bedtime (Sleepy Moan) (1936, Decca master take); 4: Thunder (1936, Decca master take); 5: Mutiny in the Nursery (1938, Standard transcription); 6: F.D.R. Jones (1938, Standard transcription); 7: The Sheik of Araby (1938, Standard transcription); 8: The Blue Danube (1938, Standard transcription); 9: Button, Button (1938, Standard transcription); 10: Jingle Bells (1938, Standard transcription); 11: Swanee River (1938, Standard transcription); 12: With Plenty of Money and You (1938, Standard transcription); 13: Don’t Blame Me (1938, Standard transcription); 14: Lullaby in Rhythm (1938, Standard transcription); 15: Dark Rapture (1938, Standard transcription); 16: The Wiggly Walk (1938, Standard transcription); 17: Flea Hop (1938, Standard transcription); 18: Chopsticks (1938, Standard transcription); 19: Patty Cake, Patty Cake (1938, Standard transcription); 20: Blue Skies (1938, Standard transcription); 21: Liza (1938, Standard transcription); 22:. Three Blind Mice (1938, Standard transcription); 23: Caravan (1938, Standard transcription); 24: There’s No Anesthetic for Love (1939, Davis & Schwegler transcription); 25: Dixie Jamboree (1939, Davis & Schwegler transcription); 26: Ta-De – Ah (1939, Davis & Schwegler transcription); 27: Riffin’ at the Bar-B – Q (1939, Davis & Schwegler transcription); 28: Harlem Swing (1939, Davis & Schwegler transcription); 29: I Lost Control of Myself (1939, Davis & Schwegler transcription). Disc Two – 1: The Land of Make Believe (1939, Davis & Schwegler transcription); 2: That Please-Be-Mine-able Feeling (1939, Davis & Schwegler transcription); 3: Dancing in the Street (1939, Davis & Schwegler transcription); 4: You’re So Different (1939, Davis & Schwegler transcription); 5: I Wouldn’t Have Known It (1939, Davis & Schwegler transcription); 6: Let’s Get Happy (1939, Davis & Schwegler transcription); 7: Undecided (1939, Standard transcription); 8: ‘Tain’t What You Do (1939, Standard transcription); 9: Do You Wanna Jump, Children? (1939, Standard transcription); 10: Riffin in F Minor (1939, Standard transcription); 11: Ol’ Man Mose Ain’t Dead (1939, Standard transcription); 12: Blue Lou (1939, Standard transcription); 13. Honey (1939, Standard transcription); 14: Russian Lullaby (1939, Standard transcription); 15: Georgie Porgie (1939, Standard transcription); 16: The Limp (1939, Standard transcription); 17. Snug as a Bug in a Rug (1939, Standard transcription); 18: Liebestraum (1939, Standard transcription); 19: Fidgety Joe (1939, Standard transcription); 20: Two Against One (1939, Standard transcription); 21: Some Like it Hot (1939, Standard transcription); 22: Crazy Rhythm (1939, Standard transcription); 23: Moonglow (1939, Standard transcription); 24: Don’t Let That Moon Get Away (1939, Standard transcription); 25: My Blue Heaven (1939, Standard transcription); 26: I Was Doing Alright (1939, Standard transcription); 27: I Can’t Get Started (1939, Standard transcription); 28: Old Man Moon (1939, Standard transcription); 29: Carry Me Back to Old Virginny (1939, Standard transcription). Disc Three – 1: Moon Song (1939, Standard transcription); 2: Baby, Won’t You Please Come Home (1939, Standard transcription); 3: Rosetta (1939, Standard transcription); 4: Trompin’ (1939, Standard transcription); 5: You’re My Life (1939, Standard transcription); 6: Hoy Soy (1939, Standard transcription); 7: Take ‘Em (1939, Standard transcription); 8: Scategoria (1939, Standard transcription); 9: Rhythm Serenade (1939, Standard transcription); 10: Rib Town Shuffle (1939, Standard transcription); 11: Music’ll Chase Your Blues Away (1939, Standard transcription); 12: I’ll Gather Up My Memories (1939, Standard transcription); 13: A Fool’s Affair (1939, Standard transcription); 14: Jump, Jack, Jump (1939, Standard transcription); 15: I Knew a Time (1939, Standard transcription); 16: Mine You’ll Always Be (1939, Standard transcription); 17: Doin’ the Bow Wow (1939, Standard transcription); 18: Lilla Mae (1939, Standard transcription); 19: I Like to Riff (1940, Ammor, master take); 20: On the Sunny Side of the Street (1940, Ammor master take); 21: Black Spider Stomp (1940, Ammor master take); 22: By the River St. Marie (1940, Ammor master take); 23: Slew Foot Joe (1940, Standard transcription); 24: 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 (1940, Standard transcription); 25 Crazy Bout Rhythm (1940, Standard transcription); 26: Off the Beam (1940, Standard transcription); 27: King Cole Blues (1940, Standard transcription); 28: Jivin’ with the Notes (1940, Standard transcription); 29: Never Mind, Baby (1940, Keystone transcription). Disc Four – 1: I’m a Perfect Fool Over You (1940, Keystone transcription); 2: Lovely Little Person (1940, Keystone transcription); 3: Love Me Sooner (1940, Keystone transcription); 4: Sentimental Blue (1940, Keystone transcription); 5: Goin’ to Town with Honey (1940, Keystone transcription); 6: Syncopated Lullaby (1940, Keystone transcription); 7: Falling in and Out of Love (1940, Keystone transcription); 8: Let’s Do Things (1940, Keystone transcription); 9: Jumpy Jitters (1940, Keystone transcription); 10. Nothing Ever Happens (1940, Keystone transcription); 11: Whatcha Doin’ to My Heart (1940, Keystone transcription); 12: Bedtime (1940, Standard transcription); 13: Honey Hush (1940, Standard transcription); 14: French Toast (1940, Standard transcription); 15: Vine Street Jump (1940, Standard transcription); 16: B Flat (1940, Standard transcription); 17: You Send Me (1940, Standard transcription); 18: Love Is My Alibi (1940, Standard transcription); 19: Pogo Stick Bounce (1940, Standard transcription); 20: Whatcha Know, Joe? (1940, unreleased radio broadcast); 21: Sweet Lorraine (1940, Decca master take); 22: Honeysuckle Rose (1940, Decca master take); 23: Gone with the Draft (1940, Decca master take); 24: This Side Up (1940, Decca master take); 25: Jumpin’ with the Mop (1941, Standard transcription); 26: Jam Man (1941, Standard transcription); 27: Let’s Try Again (1941, Standard transcription); 28: Fudge Wudge (1941, Standard transcription); 29: Smokey Joe (1941, Standard transcription); 30: Windy City Boogie Woogie (1941, Standard transcription); 31: Ode to a Wild Clam (1941, Standard transcription). Disc Five – 1: Let’s Try Again (1941, MacGregor transcription); 2: Whatcha Know, Joe? (1941, MacGregor transcription); 3: Lazy River (1941, MacGregor transcription); 4: Georgia on My Mind (1941, MacGregor transcription); 5: Rocking’ Chair (1941, MacGregor transcription); 6: A Little Jive Is Good for You (1941, MacGregor transcription); 7: You’ve Changed (1941, MacGregor transcription); 8: Babes (1941, Decca master take); 9: Scotchin’ with the Soda (1941, Decca master take); 10: Slow Down (1941, Decca master take); 11: Early Morning Blues (1941, Decca master take); 12: The Romany Room Is Jumpin’ (1941, unreleased private recording); 13: This Will Make You Laugh (1941, Decca master take); 14: Stop! The Red Light’s On (1941, Decca master take); 15. Hit the Ramp (1941, Decca master take); 16: I Like to Riff (1941, Decca master take); 17: Call the Police (1941, Decca master take); 18: Are You Fer It? (1941, Decca master take); 19: That Ain’t Right (1941, Decca master take); 20: Hit That Jive, Jack (1941, Decca master take); 21: Indiana (1942, Philo, w/Lester Young); 22: I Can’t Get Started (1942, Philo, w/Lester Young). Disc Six – 1: Tea for Two (1942, Philo, w/Lester Young); 2: Body and Soul (1942, Philo, w/Lester Young); 3: Vom, Vim, Veedle (1942, Excelsior master take); 4: All for You (1942, Excelsior master take); 5: Hip Hip Hooray (1943, AFRS Jubilee #5); 5: I Know That You Know (1943, AFRS Jubilee #5); 6: I’m Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town (1943, Live from the 331 Club); 7: Pitchin’ Up a Boogie (1943, Excelsior master take); 8: I’m Lost (1943, Excelsior master take); 9: Beautiful Moons Ago (1943, Excelsior master take); 10: Let’s Spring One (1943, Excelsior master take); 11: Slender, Tender, and Tall (1943, AFRS Jubilee #29); 12: I’ve Found a New Baby (1943, Mercury, w/Dexter Gordon); 13: Rosetta (1943, Mercury, w/Dexter Gordon); 14: Sweet Lorraine (1943, Mercury, w/Dexter Gordon); 15: I Blowed and Gone (1943, Mercury, w/Dexter Gordon); 16: Solid Potato Salad (1943, AFRS Jubilee #36); 17: F.S.T. (Fine, Sweet & Tasty) [1943, Premier master take]; 18: Got a Penny (1943, Premier master take); 19: Let’s Pretend (1943, Premier master take); 20: My Lips Remember Your Kisses (1943, Premier master take); 21: I’m an Errand Boy for Rhythm (1943, AFRS Jubilee #51); 22: Straighten Up and Fly Right (1943, AFRS Jubilee #51); 23: Honey Hush (1936, Decca alternate take). Disc Seven – 1: By the River St. Marie (1938 Standard transcription); 2: I Like to Riff (1939, Standard transcription); 3: Black Spider Stomp (1939, Standard transcription); 4: Sweet Lorraine (1939, Standard transcription); 5: Early Morning Blues (1940, Standard transcription); 6: Gone with the Draft (1940, Standard transcription); 7: Scotchin’ with the Soda (1941, Standard transcription); 8: Gone with the Draft (1941, Standard transcription); 9: The Romany Room Is Jumpin’ (1941, unreleased recording, alternate take); 10: Hit That Jive, Jack (1942, AFRS Mail Call #16); 10: Beautiful Moons Ago (1943, Excelsior alternate take); 11: Honeysuckle Rose (1943, AFRS Jubilee #29); 12: I Know That You Know (1943, AFRS Jubilee #36); 13: Solid Potato Salad (AFRS Command Performance #87); 14: My Lips Remember Your Kisses (1943, Premier alternate take); 15: Straighten Up and Fly Right (1943, AFRS Personal Album #227)

Personnel – Discs One & Two: Chicago (July 28 1936) Nat Cole: piano; Eddie Cole: bass and vocal; Bill Wright: tenor saxophone; Kenneth Roane: trumpet; Jimmy Adams: drums; Hollywood (September, October, November, 1938) Nat Cole: piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Wesley Prince: vocal and bass; Hollywood (January, 14, 1939) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Wesley Prince: vocal and bass; Hollywood (January, 1939) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Wesley Prince: vocal and bass; Hollywood (January 1939) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Wesley Prince: vocal and bass; Bonnie Lake: vocal; Hollywood (January 1939) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Wesley Prince: vocal and bass; Juanelda Carter: vocal; Hollywood (February, 1939) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Wesley Prince: vocal and bass; Hollywood (April, 1939) Nat Cole: vocal, piano and celeste; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Wesley Prince: vocal & bass; Hollywood (April or May, 1939) Nat Cole: vocal, piano and celeste; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Wesley Prince: bass; Pauline and Her Perils – Pauline Byrns, Vince Degan, Howard Hudson, Mack McLean, Bill Seckler: vocals. Discs Three & Four – (Hollywood May, 1939) Nat Cole: vocal, piano and celeste; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Wesley Prince: vocal & bass; (Hollywood June, 1939) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Wesley Prince: vocal & bass; (Hollywood August, 1939) Nat Cole: piano; Oscar Moore: guitar; Wesley Prince: bass; with The Dreamers – Ormonde Wilson, General White, Leonard Bluett and Carl Jones: vocals; (Hollywood Summer/Fall, 1939) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Wesley Prince: vocal & bass; Spike Jones: producer; (Hollywood February, 1940) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Wesley Prince: vocal & bass; Lee Young: drums; Leon Rene: producer; (Hollywood May, 1940) Nat Cole: vocal, and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Wesley Prince: vocal & bass; (Hollywood July 22, 1940) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: guitar; Wesley Prince: bass; Maxine Johnson: vocal; (Hollywood November, 1940) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Wesley Prince: vocal & bass; (Hollywood December 1, 1940) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Wesley Prince: vocal & bass; (Hollywood December 6, 1940) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Wesley Prince: vocal & bass; Johnny Moore: guitar; (Hollywood February, 1941) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Wesley Prince: vocal & bass; Discs Five & Six – (Hollywood February 25, 1941) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Wesley Prince: vocal & bass; Anita Boyer: vocal; (Chicago March 14, 1941) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Wesley Prince: vocal & bass; (New York, July 16, 1941) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Wesley Prince: vocal & bass; Al Spieldock: drums; (Wallachs Music City, Hollywood July 15, 1942) Nat Cole: piano; Lester Young: tenor saxophone; Red Callender: bass; (Hollywood October 11, 1942) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Red Callender: vocal & bass; Robert Scherman: producer; (NBC Studios December 16, 1942) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: guitar; Johnny Miller: bass; (331 Club, Los Angeles Late 1942/Early 1943) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: guitar; Johnny Miller: bass; (NBC Studios, Hollywood January, 1943) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Johnny Miller: bass; (Hollywood March 1, 1943) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Johnny Miller: bass; Leone Rene: producer; (NBC Studios, Hollywood June, 1943) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Johnny Miller: bass; (Los Angeles Summer, 1943) Nat Cole: piano; Dexter Gordon: tenor saxophone; Harry “Sweets” Edison: trumpet; Red Callender or Johnny Miller: bass; Clifford “Juicy” Owens: drums; Norman Granz: producer; (NBC Studios, Hollywood July, 1943) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Johnny Miller: vocal and bass; (NBC Studios, Hollywood, Summer, 1943) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Johnny Miller: vocal & bass; (Hollywood, August 11, 1943) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Johnny Miller: vocal & bass; (NBC Studios, Hollywood, October 2, 1943) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Johnny Miller: vocal & bass; (Hollywood November 2, 1943) Nat Cole: vocal and piano; Oscar Moore: vocal and guitar; Johnny Miller: vocal & bass; Robert Scherman: producer; Disc Seven – (Alternate takes and Masters 1936-1943) Nat Cole: vocal, piano and celeste; with various musicians

Released – 2019
Label – Resonance Records (HCD 2042)

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Raul da Gama is a poet and essayist. He has published three collections of poetry, He studied at Trinity College of Music, London specialising in theory and piano, and he has a Masters in The Classics. He is an accomplished critic whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep technical and historical understanding of music and literature.

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