If sincerity, warmth, faultless style with beautiful tone are a mark of genius when put together, then Nat King Cole was a kind of genius. Some of the songs on these 8 reissued LPs (on 4 CDs) are little known and almost no one else has recorded them. Which isn't surprising, because in these exquisite and impeccable performances Cole sets a bench mark which is near perfect.
Some songs here are standards and famous, but Cole can transform even dodgy numbers with his natural sincerity and unmistakable velvety voice. He gives a song meaning -and it starts to resemble a masterpiece. Could anyone else make a song like, 'So This is the Kingdom of Heaven', sound quite as beautiful as this ?
Nat King Cole is most at home in bittersweet numbers, and discs 1 and 4 of this set contain the really treasurable studio work, dating from 1955 and 1957. A few of these wonderful performances are unequalled in popular music. This CD set also includes some of Cole's delightful recordings as a stylish and scintillating jazz pianist (first issued as 2 LPs, 'The Piano Style of Nat King Cole' and 'Penthouse Serenade').