Q - 6/92, p.1123 Stars
- Good - "..Before the throat, there were the fingers and this collection will be a pleasant eye-opener for those who thought that Nat Cole was only a pretty voice.."
Personnel: Nat King Cole (piano); Oscar Moore, Irving Ashby (guitar); Johnny Miller, Joe Comfort (bass); Jack Costanza (congas, bongos).
Recorded between 1943 and 1949.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Personnel: Nat King Cole (vocals, piano); Irving Ashby, Oscar Moore (guitar); Jack Costanzo (congas, bongos).
Recording information: Los Angeles, CA (11/1943-03/1949); Ney York City, NY (11/1943-03/1949).
Photographer: William Gottlieb.
For those needing a reminder of Cole's very original and expert piano playing, this 18-track roundup of some of his best instrumentals should fit the bill. Part of Capitol's three-volume series of Cole's classic trio sides (the other two cover the vocals), The Best of the Nat King Cole Trio includes gem after gem from the group's 1943-1949 prime and features the classic lineup that included guitarist Oscar Moore and bassist Johnny Miller. With Cole and Moore seamlessly blending lines throughout, the group forged the standard for many a piano trio to follow by way of classics like "Jumpin' at Capitol," "Sweet Georgia Brown," and "These Foolish Things." Complemented by three sides featuring Cole's later trio mates -- guitarist Irving Ashby and bassist Joe Comfort, plus guest percussionist Jack Costanza -- this instrumental best-of is essential listening for fans of Cole's vintage, pre-"Mona Lisa" material. For more of Cole's fine instrumental work from this period, be sure to also check out Capitol's horns-and-piano title Jazz Encounters. ~ Stephen Cook