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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke

 

KING COLE TRIO
TRANSCRIPTIONS VOL.2

Nat "King" Cole-Piano/Vocal, Oscar Moore-Guitar/Vocal, Wesley Prince-Bass/Vocal.
Recorded January- February 1939 Los Angeles.
NAXOS JAZZ LEGENDS 8.120521
Crotchet  

 


1. There's No Anaesthetic For Love
2. Dixie Jamboree
3. Ta-De-Ah
4. Riffin' At The Bar-B-Q
5. Harlem Swing
6. I Lost Control Of Myself
7. The Land Of Make Believe
8. That "Please-Be-Mineable" Feeling
9. Dancing In The Street
10. You're So Different
11. I Wouldn't Have Known It
12. Let's Get Happy
13. Undecided
14. ' Tain't What You Do ( It's The Way That You Do It )
15. Do You Wanna Jump, Children?
16. Riffin' In F Minor
17. Ol' Man Mose Ain't Dead
18. Blue Lou
19. Honey
20. Russian Lullaby

This volume continues the re-issue of the King Cole Trio Transcriptions following on from volume one ( see reviews May 2001 ). The material contained here is more of the same fare with added vocal features from Bonnie Lake ( tracks 5-7 ) and Juanelda Carter ( tracks 9-11 ). Track 8 is a Nat King Cole vocal and tracks 16, 18 and 20 are instrumentals. The remainder of the numbers are trio vocal items with instrumental solos interspersed.

The trio singing is the same mix of slick unison themes, scatting, comedy effects and the odd harmonised passage. The instrumental breaks are, as always, of the highest order. Some of the vocal sections are beginning to move towards an almost "Boppy" style as can be heard on "Undecided " and "Ta-De-Ah" which contains references to the number "Big Noise From Winnetka" . I very much doubt that Cole would have yet been exposed to Bop to any degree but this only serves to illustrate that many performers were beginning to move in this direction quite independently. Other influences clearly audible are Louis Jordan and The Mills Brothers. The music of Cole at this time might best be described as "Jump" style.

Of the two female singers I preferred the tone and style of Bonnie Lake although Juanelda Carter is more than adequate.

In terns of his pianistic evolution, Nat Cole had developed his wonderfully economic single note runs at this point in his career and his playing here is a mixture of these and a two fisted post-stride style somewhat akin to Teddy Wilson. "Riffin' In F Minor" contains some beautifully lucid passages - it is possible to hear Cole's influence on Oscar Peterson at such moments.

The tunes on this compilation are possibly more obscure than on the first release. Ten out of the twenty selections have "Unknown" as the composer credit ! The recordings were made between January and February 1939 and I marginally prefer them to the first release . I still feel that this is music to listen to a little at a time. In a live performance I would imagine the numbers to be leavened with more solo sections and to be interspersed with more instrumental selections.

Dick Stafford

D.S. is a professional reed player and teacher living in Coventry.



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