Cole's best years were with the trio...
John O'Neill | Alpharetta, GA | 09/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 2nd volume of vocal numbers with the Trio covers the years of 1947 - 1950. Recorded before Nat was to become more of a "pop" vocalist and receive backing from arrangers like Gordon Jenkins and Nelson Riddle, the work done with the trio reveals a jazzier side of this great vocalist - not only can he sing but he was incredible jazz pianist with a style that was light and fun. The arrangements for piano, guitar, and bass are always tight and pulled off with perfection. Add to these numbers Nat's "smooth as silk" delivery and you've got a winning collection of standards including "What'll I Do", "Makin' Whoopee", "Too Marvelous for Words", and "Dream a Little Dream of Me".
The sound is slightly better than volume 1. There is a little hiss throughout BUT when you consider the age of these recordings and the generally quiet and open nature of a small jazz combo (i.e. nothing loud to cover up the hiss) it's perfectly understandable and in no way should detract from the enjoyment of the these performances.
Also pick up the 1942 - 1946 collection to round out the collection. There's a third volume which contains only istrumental numbers but part of the magic of these recordings is Nat's voice."
Fine collection of The Nat King Cole Trio's later hits...
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 08/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Nat King Cole Trio made hit after hit during the later part of the 1940's even as the group was gradually leaning toward going their own ways. Nat's piano playing combined with bass and guitar always pleased their adoring audiences.
The CD track set starts off with a masterpiece: "Meet Me At No Special Place (And I'll Be There At No Particular Time)." The upbeat melody and the overall flavor of this song belie the sarcasm in the lyrics as Nat sings of a love affair that's over. The trio plays to perfection and Nat croons this marvelously. "Naughty Angeline" follows with another upbeat melody as Nat sings of Angeline who is far too casual about her boyfriend's feelings. Nevertheless, Nat's character wants to tame her and make her his own. Listen for an awesome piano solo! SMILE
"What'll I Do" by Irving Berlin gets the royal treatment from these fine musicians; Nat and the trio massage this with an unusually slow tempo to enhance the romantic flavor of "What'll I Do." Wonderful! "Makin' Whoopee" allows the trio to fool around a bit while they weave their magic. "Makin' Whoopee" sports a great playful flavor to it as it makes its commentary about men and their experiences during marriage. I predict that you will like "Makin' Whoopee" very, very much.
"There I've Said It Again" gets a slower than usual tempo to highlight the romantic effect of this classic pop tune; and "Little Girl" gives us a peppy, relentlessly happy number that the trio performs without a superfluous note.
The CD ends with a King Cole Trio novelty piece entitled "Ooh Kickeroonie." Nat and his buddies play this playful tune and infuse it with a certain style that make a novelty piece sound like a classic pop vocal! That's talent!
The liner notes include the song credits and the recording dates. You get a brief essay as well; and the cover photo of the trio reflects good judgment.
Overall, The King Cole Trio will be hard to replace--even with the passage of time. The trio possessed a certain energy that we rarely experience; and this certainly set them apart from all the others. I highly recommend this CD for fans of Nat King Cole and his work with his trio. Fans of classic pop vocals will also enjoy this CD.