Paul Mc Parland | Carrickfergus, County Antrim Northern Ireland | 01/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a Nat Cole fan of many years I've just received this marvellous double CD and given it a spin. That velvet voice still hits the spot and guarantees to leave you feeling warm inside. If you sit back and listen and soak up Nat's singing fabulously accompanied by Billy May's hard swinging band your spirits will just soar with joy. I own numerous Nat Cole recordings and this is the best yet! You owe it to yourself to buy it!"
Cool singer meets the gretest big band arranger
Elwood Conway | Frankfort, KY United States | 02/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Cole's voice was always a smooth and refined one for jazz. May's arrangements were always full of life from blaring brass to slurping saxes. This 2 CD set compiles all their tracks and it is a complete winner. Kudos to the remastering team who make these recordings sound as fresh now as they were 40 years ago. If you love Cole and great big band arrangements, then look no further."
"explosive orchestration is distinctive B. May ~ Nat Cole"
J. Lovins | Missouri-USA | 03/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Billy May Sessions" gives you 21 tracks on disc one (59:00 mins) and 19 tracks on disc two (50:00 mins)...the finest vocals by anyone in musical history...the sound is marvelous mono on the first 14 tracks and the balance in digitally remixed stereo...there should have been more like this, but this is it, so cherish the moment...listening to Nat though, is always great...he had a tenderness in his voice, completely flawless...he could never deliver a bad tune...his style and signature of making a song his own has never been duplicated...within this two disc album are songs that date back to September 1951 and finish November 1961...some are timeless and remain classics, while others are songs that have never seen the light of day...but this release is a dream come true...more selections from the greatest entertainer of our time...cause Nat King Cole rules.
You can't go wrong with any of Cole's albums that are now on CD...many are hard-to-find and some not well known...highlights and stand outs are the entire album with the first part of the disc outstanding in every department.
ANGEL EYES (Dennis Adair) BLUE MOON (Rodgers/Hart) CAN'T I? (Leroy Lovett) DON'T GET AROUND MUCH ANYMORE (D. Ellington/B. Russell) DON'T TRY (M. Watts/R. Moseley) I'M HURTIN' (Skeets McDonald) JUST FOR THE FUN OF IT (alt. take) (A. Jackson/L.B. Harte) LET'S MAKE MORE LOVE (unknown) LOVER COME BACK TO ME (Romberg/Hammerstein) ONCE IN A WHILE (M. Edwards/B. Green) PAPA LOVES MAMBO (Hoffman/Manning/Reichner) SEND FOR ME (Ollis Jones) SONG HAS ENDED (I Berlin) TEACH ME TONIGHT (Cahn/DePaul) THESE FOOLISH THINGS (Strachey/Link/Marvell) WALKIN' (Mary Lou Williams/Lindsay Steele) WALKIN' MY BABY BACK HOME (Turk/Ahlert) WHAT DOES IT TAKE (Burke/Van Heusen) WHO'S SORRY NOW (Snyder/Kalmar/Ruby) WITH YOU ON MY MIND (Nat Cole/Charlotte Hawkins) YOU'LL NEVER KNOW (Warren/Gordon)
Please remember, when it comes to interpretation and expertly performed, Nat is the master at his craft...the one and only king of interpretation...no other singer in the business had the warmth that this man gave during a performance or recording session...along with Frank Sinatra, Cole built the Capitol Towers and brought them fame and fortune...Nat King Cole in my estimation did more for Capitol Records than any other recording artist of that time (and that my friend is saying something), but it is gospel.
Second disc of the album has the following tunes: BIDIN' MY TIME (George & Ira Gershwin) COLD, COLD HEART (Hank Williams) A COTTAGE FOR SALE (W. Robison/I Conley) EBONY RHAPSODY (Arthur Johnston/Sam Coslow) DAY IN, DAY OUT (R. Bloom/J. Mercer) I SHOULD CARE (Weston/Stordahl/Cahn) I UNDERSTAND (M. Wayne/K. Gannon) I'M GONNA SIT RIGHT DOWN AND WRITE MAYSELF A LETTER (F. Ahlert/J. Young) JUST FOR THE FUN OF IT (A. Jackson/I. B. Harte) JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS (Cole Porter) LET'S FACE THE MUSIC AND DANCE (I. Berlin) MOON LOVE (David/Kostelanetz) THE PARTY'S OVER (Styne/Comden/Green) RULES OF THE ROAD (Cy Coleman/Carolyn Leigh) SOMETHING MAKES ME WANT TO DANCE (C. Romoff/D Meehan) TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE (Arthur Kent/Jerry Grant) WARM AND WILLING (McHugh/Livingston/Evans) WHEN MY SUGAR WALKS DOWN THE STREET (Austin/McHugh/Mills) WHEN YOUR LOVER HAS GONE (E. A. Swan)
Brilliant counter melodies interwoven with lingering arrangements by Billy May that instantly became classics...beautiful and heartfelt ballads with classic orchestrations...featuring Nat's original style are simply captivating...with tender lyrics that bring two lovers together...Nat sings this from the heart and you're loving it...throughout the evening sample this with your favorite partner...as Nat completely takes charge savoring wonderful memories of the good times.
Nat was awarded a posthumous plaque to the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame, naming him one of the major early influences on rock 'n' roll...they'll never be another pass this way again...thank you Captiol for this release of Nat "King" Cole for the decades of music that followed...his songs will remain with us always and forever...just the way we like 'em!
Total Time: 2-CD-Set ~ Capitol/Blue Note 89545 ~ (9/4/1993) "
Hoc Stercus | Hudson, NY USA | 04/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Even though these tracks were recorded in the early 1950's before the advent of Stereo, they still sounded amazingly fresh and alive. Whoever did the digital remastering on this set deserves a special accolade. They did a wonderful restoration job. There are an incredible number of really fine songs in this collection. I am so pleased I got it; and I highly recommend it to Nat King Cole fans and to those who might be interested in becoming one."
Nat and Billy Swing!
ezmusiclover | Arizona | 02/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One word best describes this 2-CD set from Capitol Records: Tasty. The unforgettable Nat King Cole teamed up with arranger and conductor Billy May on several occasions during his long tenure with Capitol. Besides the hit single, "Walkin' My Baby Back Home," and various other sides the two collaborated on, this set includes both concept albums: JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS (1957) and LET'S FACE THE MUSIC! (1963). May, known for his witty and bouncy arrangements, suited Nat well in the recording studio. [Capitol's other star artist, Frank Sinatra, used the capable talents of May on three of his concept albums.] Diversity is shown best here. The duo's earliest recordings only served as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. By the time JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS came around, stereo was the new medium and the concept album served its listeners well by setting a particular mood. Basically, all of the songs were joined together and similar in context. Nat had just recorded the lushly-orchestrated LOVE IS THE THING with arranger and conductor Gordon Jenkins when his next concept album came about. Comparing the two is next to impossible. Whereas LOVE IS THE THING is full of strings and heartfelt emotion, JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS is a real swinger. The orchestra jumps to his singing, almost testing just how far he can carry himself. Leave it to Nat to do just that. LET'S FACE THE MUSIC! is no less impressive than its predecessor. Not only does Cole sing, but he also plays the organ on a few of the tracks. Some 35 years later, daughter Natalie took her father's instrumental from "Let's Face the Music and Dance" and added it to her own version of the same song. Nat and Billy. Two of a kind. Tasty."