Search - Nat King Cole :: Penthouse Serenade

Penthouse Serenade
Nat King Cole
Penthouse Serenade
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
  •  Track Listings (19) - Disc #1

The piano-led small group sessions on Penthouse Serenade bear little resemblance to Cole's trio work. Blues is hardly a factor here, and while his fleet fingers owe a debt to jazz, it's jazz of the most polite sort. The do...  more »


Larger Image
Listen to Samples

CD Details

All Artists: Nat King Cole
Title: Penthouse Serenade
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Blue Note Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/1952
Re-Release Date: 9/8/1998
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Styles: 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: 724349450424, 0724349450455, 5099922875259

The piano-led small group sessions on Penthouse Serenade bear little resemblance to Cole's trio work. Blues is hardly a factor here, and while his fleet fingers owe a debt to jazz, it's jazz of the most polite sort. The dozen instrumentals (from 1952 and 1955) are like good appetizers, though--while hardly filling, they're fun to nosh on. Seven vocal tracks, including versions of "Too Young" and "Unforgettable," appear as bonus tracks to the '50s LP. --Rickey Wright

CD Reviews

The piano is as smooth as the voice
The Fancy One | Westchester County, NY | 09/24/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"PENTHOUSE SERENADE is a very relaxing and soothing bit of music to listen to. As the reviewer said, it's not quite like the music you heard in the early and glory days of his small jazz ensemble, the King Cole Trio. It was criticized by so-called jazz purists back in the day, being labeled as "cocktail piano" and not REAL jazz, but DON'T LET THAT FOOL YOU. This is an excellent instrumental jazz CD! By this time (1952-1955) Nat was at his peak as a pop vocalist who occasionally dabbled in jazz and blues, whereas before, it was the other way around. This expanded version of PENTHOUSE SERENADE (which was followed by another instrumental LP Nat made in '55, THE PIANO STYLE OF NAT KING COLE) is merely a prelude to one of Nat's most successful jazz works, AFTER MIDNIGHT, released a year later ('56). Those of you who are fans of Nat the musician will enjoy this very much. I love to listen to this CD when I'm coming home from work because it is so mellow, and it makes you just wanna ease back and take in every note.
The extra tracks on this CD includes some vocal performances. It was nice hearing different versions of Nat's vocal hits, with the emphasis on his pianistics, such as "Unforgettable", "Walkin' My Baby Back Home" and "Too Young". My personal favs: "I Surrender, Dear" (both takes), "Don't Blame Me", "Penthouse Serenade", "Laura", "Somebody Loves Me", "Little Girl" and "Rose Room"...but everything is wonderful. I highly recommend this! Smooth as Nat's voice itself."
Fine Nat "King" Cole CD
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 10/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Nat "King" Cole could play the piano as well as anyone ever could; we sometimes forget that because we remember him as a singer. However, in the 1940s and the very early 1950s he played piano with his trio; and this CD proves what a wonderful pianist Nat "King" Cole truly was.

The CD offers many great tracks. "Penthouse Serenade (When We're Alone)" displays Nat at his best; and the members of his trio bolster Nat's performance very nicely. Nat never misses a note--excellent! "Penthouse Serenade (When We're Alone)" gives us an elegant beginning to the CD. "Laura" features Nat "King" Cole at the piano once again to play this movie melody with panache and some extra notes added in for an especially polished effect. Love that percussion, too!

"Down By The Old Mill Stream" gives us a jazzy rendition of this classic ballad; Nat and his trio play this like the pros they always were! I predict that you will enjoy "Down By The Old Mill Stream" very much! In addition, listen for a beautiful rendition of "It Could Happen To You." Nat plays this love ballad with just the right embellishments to make it all his very own! It's very impressive.

We also get a generous seven bonus tracks featuring Nat singing as he plays piano. "Walkin' My Baby Back Home" lacks nothing--it's THAT good. Nat's voice is warm and full of masculine energy. How that man could sing! Listen also for a sublime rendition of "Too Marvelous For Words." You're bound to enjoy this jazzy rendition of "Too Marvelous For Words." Moreover, "It's Only A Paper Moon" shines as a classic ballad in Nat's competent care; and the CD ends very well with the splendid "Unforgettable." Nat King Cole gives his heart and soul for "Unforgettable;" and it shows when you listen to this track.

The liner notes have great artwork; and Will Friedwald contributes a fine essay, too. We get the song credits and the credits for the trio, too.

Nat "King" Cole, both with his trio and as a solo artist, could never be forgotten. You just can't keep great talent down. I highly recommend this for Nat's fans; and people who enjoy classic pop vocals and lounge music will cherish this album for many years to come.