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Radio & Podcasts

Where There's No Will, There's Still a Way

Read "Where There's No Will, There's Still a Way" reviewed by Patrick Burnette


The Bastards had hoped to host author Will Friedwald this episode to discuss his book on Nat King Cole, but like a ramblin' rose his path wandered from ours and we ended up high and lonesome, talking Nat's vocal albums on Capital by ourselves. Nat was one of the great Swing era piano players and led one of the first influential jazz piano trios, but we focus on the second half of his too-short career as mainstream vocalist and vowel-wrangler ...

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Album Review

Nat King Cole: Straighten Up and Fly Right – The Best of Hittin’ the Ramp: The Early Years (1936-1943)

Read "Straighten Up and Fly Right – The Best of Hittin’ the Ramp: The Early Years (1936-1943)" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Hittin' the Ramp: The Early Years (1936-1943) (Resonance Records, 2019) is a treasury of Nat “King" Cole's earliest recorded work, documenting his mastery of jazz piano and vocals long before he became a popular singing star. But at seven CDs or 10 LPs, it's a lot of music, perhaps too much for a casual or curious fan. This single disc “best of" compilation offers a generous selection of 21 tracks, most of them featuring Cole's famous trio with guitarist Oscar ...

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Album Review

Nat King Cole: Hittin’ the Ramp: The Early Years (1936-1943)

Read "Hittin’ the Ramp: The Early Years (1936-1943)" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Before pianist/vocalist Nat King Cole had a career as a pop crooner--his many hits included “All for You," “The Christmas Song," “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66," “(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons," “Nature Boy" and “Mona Lisa" (the No. 1 song in 1950)--he led a successful jazz trio which featured both his piano playing and vocals. This voluminous collection aims to document all of his early work. There are many surprises for those who only know the pop hits, ...

4

Album Review

Nat "King" Cole: Hittin’ the Ramp: The Early Years (1936-1943)

Read "Hittin’ the Ramp: The Early Years (1936-1943)" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer


While he achieved fame and fortune as a pops crooner of the 1950s-60s, Nat “King" Cole firmly occupies a place in jazz history. Unlike Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney and others who began their careers as singers, Cole started out as a pianist, composer/arranger, and band leader, working small clubs in Chicago, soon adding vocals at the suggestion of a fan. From the late 1930s through 1943, when he received his legendary contract as a singer with the newly ...

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Radio & Podcasts

Wild Is Love - Celebrating Nat King Cole's Centennial

Read "Wild Is Love - Celebrating Nat King Cole's Centennial" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


We take a brief detour in the middle of Women's History Month to celebrate the centennial of Nat “King" Cole in the second hour and play some of the songs he was famous for. The show also includes new releases from guitarist/vocalists Camila Meza, John Pizzarelli, and trumpeter Samantha Boshnack with more birthday shout outs to organist Shirley Scott, vocalists Mark Murphy, Bobby McFerrin, Al Jarreau, Judy Niemack and pianist Billy Childs, among others. Playlist Shirley Scott ...

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Profile

Unforgettable: Nat King Cole at 100

Read "Unforgettable: Nat King Cole at 100" reviewed by Peter Coclanis


Few cities in the U.S. have musical traditions so strong and varied as Chicago's. Although cases can be made for other cities--jny: New Orleans, jny: Detroit, New York, jny: Philadelphia, jny: Los Angeles, and jny: Memphis come to mind--in no other city is the range and depth of musical expression so strong as in Chi-Town. Other cities may dominate certain genres and discrete niches, but in no other burg does the musical tradition run so deeply in genres ranging from ...

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Radio & Podcasts

[email protected], Withers ‘Just Because’, Newk & More

Read "Nat@100, Withers ‘Just Because’, Newk & More" reviewed by Marc Cohn


We get a jump on the Nat 'King' Cole centennial [coming in March] with his classic trio, along with two piano players influenced by Mr. Cole. Our Sonny Rollins celebration continues with a Miles date with Bird on tenor too. Upfront, there's 21st century sounds, as well as jazzed-up Bill Withers tunes... just because, well, it's a lovely day. Make yours one and give a listen; you will enjoy the show. Playlist Harold Mabern “A Few Miles ...


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