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Oscar Moore

Oscar Moore’s guitar licks are among the most memorable in Americana, though his name may not draw knowing nods from the listeners of today. Moore is perhaps best known for his impeccable contributions to Nat “King” Cole’s version of “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts)” a tune which is among the most standard of great American standards and a staple of the holiday season. The momentous track, recorded in 1946 by the original King Cole Trio, represents a high- water mark in the productive career of the famed bandleader and was one of a select handful of pop hits in the era to feature beautiful jazz-tinged post-Charlie Christian guitar playing. Moore’s decade-long tenure with Cole’s group began in 1937

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

Label: Resonance Records
Released: 2020
Track listing: With Plenty of Money and You; Liza; There's No Anesthetic for Love; Riffin' at the Bar-B-Q; Honey; Two Against One; Black Spider Stomp; Sweet Lorraine; Off the Beam; Early Morning Blues; Gone with the Draft; What'cha Know Joe; Blue Lou; Baby, Won’t You Please Come Home; Rosetta; Hit that Jive, Jack; I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town; Hip Hip Hooray; Slender, Tender, and Tall; Straighten Up and Fly Right; This Side Up.

ARTICLE: 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 ...

ARTICLE: 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 ...

ARTICLE: 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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

John Pizzarelli: For Centennial Reasons: 100 Year Salute To Nat King Cole

Read "For Centennial Reasons: 100 Year Salute To Nat King Cole" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

John Pizzarelli's fondness for the work of Nat King Cole isn't exactly a secret. He delivered two full-length tribute albums to that most-revered of figures during the '90s—Dear Mr. Cole (Novus, 1994) and P.S. Mr. Cole (RCA, 1999) —and he's continued to sing Cole's praises in the intervening years. Now, with the great pianist-vocalist's centennial upon ...

Steve Herberman, Hristo Vitchev, Rick Stone and Harvey Valdes

Read "Steve Herberman,  Hristo Vitchev, Rick Stone and Harvey Valdes" reviewed by Dom Minasi

Welcome back to Guitarists Rendezvous, our third installment in a series that introduces readers to emerging or established guitarists who fly just under the radar of public recognition. Each will field the same four questions and we've included audio and video so you can sample their music. This installment includes a diverse group ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Billy Vera: Still In The Game

Read "Billy Vera: Still In The Game" reviewed by Scott Mitchell

It might be safe to say that a lot of people may know a little bit about Billy Vera but only a few people know a lot about Billy Vera. Billy is a singer, writer, producer, actor, Grammy winner, and music historian. He has performed with big bands, Billy And The Beaters, solo, and everything in ...

More Fresh Sounds From Fresh Sound

Read "More Fresh Sounds From Fresh Sound" reviewed by Bruce Klauber

The Fresh Sound record label has released another superb batch of late 1950s and early 1960s recordings by jazz legends, greats, near-greats and now obscure artists who, then and now, deserve wider recognition. As detailed in previous pieces, Fresh Sound is the only organization out there issuing these essential works, which otherwise would remain lost.

ARTICLE: MEGAPHONE

Monk's Music and the Guitar

Read "Monk's Music and the Guitar" reviewed by Bobby Broom

As a guitarist whose love for jazz music began in the '70s, I was understandably excited to hear a few months ago, from a most reliable source, that Thelonious Monk really dug guitarist George Benson! Benson was probably the most popular jazz guitarist of the '70s and those who know about the place of the guitar ...


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