Search - Nat King Cole, Pete Rugolo Orchestra :: Lush Life

Lush Life
Nat King Cole, Pete Rugolo Orchestra
Lush Life
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
 
  •  Track Listings (25) - Disc #1

This CD includes recordings that Cole made between 1949 and 1952 with arranger Pete Rugolo, a crucial time in Cole's career when he was breaking away from his jazz trio and emphasizing his singing, both on popular ballads ...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Nat King Cole, Pete Rugolo Orchestra
Title: Lush Life
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Blue Note Records
Original Release Date: 4/6/1993
Release Date: 4/6/1993
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Styles: Traditional Blues, Jump Blues, Swing Jazz, Traditional Jazz & Ragtime, Vocal Jazz, Easy Listening, Oldies, Vocal Pop, Classic Vocalists, Traditional Vocal Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 077778059523, 0077778059554, 077778059547

Synopsis

Amazon.com
This CD includes recordings that Cole made between 1949 and 1952 with arranger Pete Rugolo, a crucial time in Cole's career when he was breaking away from his jazz trio and emphasizing his singing, both on popular ballads and novelty tunes. During the period, Cole formed a close relationship with Rugolo, who was best known for his innovative work with Stan Kenton's orchestra. While never as commercially successful as Cole's collaborations with Nelson Riddle, their work represented a remarkable association between a great singer and a visionary orchestrator, with Rugolo emphasizing surprising contrasts in voicings and rich harmonies. The material ranges from Cole's bantering songs with his wife Maria, like "Hey, Not Now! (I'll Tell You When)" to a sonorous version of Alec Wilder's "Summer Is A Comin' In," and it's all imbued with the unmistakable Cole voice in its prime. The centerpiece, though, is "Lush Life," a superb rendition of Billy Strayhorn's languid hymn to wearied sophistication, with Rugolo adding Latin percussion and impressionistic textures to highlight the presence of Cole's rich baritone. --Stuart Broomer

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CD Reviews

Generous, Transitional Set Finds Cole In Top Vocal Form
Anthony G Pizza | FL | 10/14/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"In his liner notes to "Lush Life," author/compiler Will Friedwald notes that Nat Cole "devised an entirely original approach and a whole new sound...an alternative vision both as valid and as productive as Sinatra's." This despite Cole's working with many of Sinatra's arrangers: Billy May, Gordon Jenkins and, of course, Nelson Riddle.But before these giants helped craft Cole's beloved hits, he and arranger Pete Rugolo joined for eight orchestral sessions anthologized in "Lush Life." The generous result (25 songs, more than 70 minutes) captures Cole and Rugolo at several crossroads: between jazz and pop crooner; swing, bebop and Latin-flavored styles; between musics progressive and intimate.Not every track here stands with classic Cole: you get the sappy faux-social comment "My Brother" and, despite several thrilling Cole piano fills, the silly "You Can't Make Me Love You" probably has an unknown writer's credit for a reason. Moreover, "Time Out For Tears" and "I'll Always Remember You" depend too much on Pied Pipers-style vocal blend. But then you get comfy, fun duets between Cole and wife Maria ("It's A Man Every Time," "Ev'ry Day," "Hey, Not Now," which recalls Cole's hit "Orange Colored Sky") punctuated by big-band horns, jazzy guitar and Latin-style bongo percussion. The swinging "Get To Gettin'" recalls the Cole Trio days, while he also delivers gentle versions of Alec Wilder's "Summer Is Comin' In" and the standard "Red Sails In The Sunset." The LP's best songs, including Billy Strayhorn's classic title song and "You Stepped Out Of A Dream," present an urban, sophisticated approach to big band jazz Cole abandoned for the sentimental, Riddle-arranged hits ("Unforgettable," "Pretend") that are his legacy. But "Lush Life" is a recommended addition to any Cole collection, catching one of music's most distinctive musicians and vocalists at top musical form with progressive, simpatico accompaniment."