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Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

ALBUM REVIEWS

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

Read "Nat "King" Cole: 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, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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 ...

RADIO

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 ...

PROFILES

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 ...

RADIO

Nat@100, 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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Nat King Cole Trio: Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 43 - Zurich 1950

Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 43 - Zurich 1950" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Nat King Cole means two very different things to two different segments of the music-loving populace today. To those simply plugged into popular culture he's the golden-voiced baritone crooner, debonair and delightful as can be while travelling over the airwaves. But to those steeped in jazz history he's known as a mighty and true pianist, throwing down the gauntlet at Jazz at the Philharmonic shows, pushing a then-progressive agenda with fellow giants Buddy Rich and Lester Young, and walking a ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Nat King Cole: The Definitive Nat "King" Cole

Read "The Definitive Nat "King" Cole" reviewed by Jim Santella

Most of this superb collection features Nat King Cole in the role that he knew first: jazz pianist with a small ensemble playing instrumental favorites with a creative swing. Recorded in Los Angeles between July 1942 and August 1947, the songs come from an expressive pianist who knows the true value of a few complementary partners on stage. He enjoyed his work as much as we enjoy listening to it. This was just slightly before the big split in jazz ...


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