The Piano Style of Nat King Cole

The Piano Style of Nat King Cole


Nat King Cole (piano, vocals), Nelson Riddle (arranged by, conductor), Willie Smith (soprano sax), George Roberts, Juan Tizol (trombone), John Collins (guitar), Charlie Harris (bass),  Lee Young (drums)

Capitol 332

Pure Pleasure Records : LP 180 gram

Brand New and Sealed Record

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A1 - Love Walked In
A2 - My Heart Stood Still
A3 - Imagination
A4 - I Never Knew
A5 - Stella By Starlight
A6 - What Can I Say After I Say I'm Sorry
A7 - I Didn't Know What Time It Was
A8 - Takin' A Chance On Love
B1 - April In Paris
B2 - I Want To Be Happy
B3 - I See Your Face Before Me
B4 - Just One Of Those Things
B5 - I Get A Kick Out Of You
B6 - If I Could Be With You
B7 - I Hear Music
B8 - Tea For Two
B9 - My Heart Stood Still (Alternate Take)

Recorded on June 7, 11 and August 23, 27, 1955 at Capitol Studios, Los Angeles.

Even though by the mid-'50s he'd already established himself as a multi-talented entertainer, this collection of piano-centric instrumentals would be the first full-length long-player that Nat King Cole issued during his two-plus decades on Capitol Records. Released in 1956, the appropriately titled The Piano Style of Nat King Cole contains a whopping (by mid-'50s standards at least) 16 tracks. Half of the material finds the artist supported by a large band and the other with a warm, cozy string section. And making a great thing almost sinful is that the entire effort is orchestrated and conducted by the peerless Nelson Riddle.

“True to the nature of artist and arranger alike, the project is filled with traditional pop tunes straight out of the Great American Songbook. While the melodies are familiar, each is given a unique sonic stamp. Gershwin's "Love Walked In" provides nothing short of a sublime start as Cole trades elegant leads with the lushly appointed backing ensemble. By contrast, "My Heart Stood Still" bursts forth bearing a joyous jazzy groove that can barely be contained within Cole's blissful runs up and down the ivories. Once again mellowing the tempo is the classy and romantic refinement of a simmering "Imagination," which melts beneath the delicate drizzle of Cole's keys. This stylistic compromise continues as the friskier and decidedly upbeat "I Never Knew," "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," and "Taking a Chance on Love" perfectly temper the tender yet impassioned "April in Paris" and "I See Your Face Before Me." Likewise, the sultry blues "If I Could Be with You (One Hour Tonight)" should not be missed. The frenetic "I Want to Be Happy" and equally energetic "Just One of Those Things" stand out from the rest. Cole nimbly reels off some of his most accomplished keyboarding to date, all the while guiding the big band into a spirited musical repartee.” - Lindsay Planer, AllMusic

This Pure Pleasure LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the original analogue studio tapes through to the cutting head and was pressed with virgin vinyl at Pallas.