Nat King Cole : After Midnight

Nat King Cole : After Midnight


Nat King Cole (piano, vocals), Charlie Harris (bass), John Collins (guitar), Willie Smith (alto sax), Juan Tizol (trombone), Harry Edison (trumpet), Stuff Smith (violin), Lee Young (drums), Jack Costanzo (bongos)

recorded in 1956

Capitol 782

Pure Pleasure Records : 2 LPs 180 gram

Brand New and Sealed Record

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A1 - Just You, Just Me

A2 - Sweet Lorraine

A3 - Sometimes I'm Happy

A4 - Caravan

A5 - It's Only a Paper Moon

B1 - You're Looking at Me

B2 - The Lonely One

B3 - Don't Let it Go to Your Head

B4 - I Know That You Know

B5 - Blame it on my Youth

C1 - When I Grow too Old to Dream

C2 - Route 66

C3 - I was a Little too Lonely

C4 - You can Depend on Me

D1 - What is There to Say ?

D2 - Two Loves Have I

D3 - Candy

D4 - You're Looking at Me (alternate take)

Recorded between August 15 & September 24, 1956 at Capitol Studios, Los Angeles.

Nat "King" Cole' s music is the perfect combination of romantic charm and musical invention. Cole is known for his big production numbers and pop hits such hits as "Stardust" , but he was also an accomplished and unique jazz pianist and excelled in a small-group setting. After Midnight's album cover states that this is a "trio" release. However, Cole is actually paired up with his trio plus five guest soloists (saxophone. trombone, trumpet, percussion and violin). The dubious credits don't matter that much. This is precious music and without doubt, one of Cole's best records. Included here are wonderful and intimate renditions of Cole favourites "Sweet Lorraine", "(Get your kicks on) Route 66" and many others. Trombonist Juan Tizol performs a beautiful version of his Afro-Cuban tune "Caravan", and Cole and violinist Stuff Smith trade some hot licks on the up-tempo "I Know". For anybody looking into understand the depth and breadth of Cole's jazz roots, this disc is an excellent point of departure. 

One of the unfortunate consequences of Nat "King" Cole's exquisite career as a vocalist is that many fans have forgotten what an exceptional pianist he was. Moreover, Cole influenced pianists as chronologically and geographically divergent as Oscar Peterson, Brazil's Tania Maria, and Diana Krall. After Midnight serves up equal doses of Cole's vocals and piano playing. From the lush beauty of "What Is There To Say" to the mid-tempo swing of "When I Grow Too Old To Dream" to the lightening quick "I Know That You Know", Cole confirms his place in both Popular Vocalist history and Jazz Piano history as well. In a recording featuring such luminaries as Harry "Sweets" Edison on trumpet, and the often forgotten violinist Stuff Smith, After Midnight is the perfect offering for any fan of the Nat "King" Cole Trio as well as those fans who are more familiar with Cole as a vocalist. A perfect blend is found here. L. J. Allen