Artist: Nat King Cole | Album: The Very Best Of Nat King Cole | Released: 2006 | Label: Capitol | Genre: Jazz, Blues
This generous anthology, with 28 tracks and close to 80 minutes of music, is one of the best single-disc sets on the market of Nat King Cole's pop side. Spanning over 20 years, from 1943 to 1964, The Very Best of Nat King Cole includes most of his biggest hits for Capitol Records, like 1946's "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66," 1950s "Mona Lisa," 1951's "Walkin' My Baby Back Home" and "Unforgettable," and 1956's "When I Fall in Love" (with its wonderful orchestration arranged and conducted by Gordon Jenkins), although there are some intriguing omissions (1962's "Ramblin' Rose," for instance, isn't included here), but it's hard to quibble; after all, Cole charted over 100 pop singles during his career and nothing short of a massive box set could feature them all. What's most striking is how uniform everything is, as if it was all drawn from one long recording session, and Cole's rich, warm voice and perfect enunciation never falters. He was criticized for leaving his jazz roots for pop stardom, but it is worth noting how jazz-based and stripped-down most of these sides actually are, and even when orchestration is present, it is never intrusive or overwhelming, and the focus is always on Cole's steady, calm and measured vocals. It all adds up to a near-perfect introduction to Cole's Capitol years.
02. Sweet Lorraine
03. (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66
04. Straighten Up And Fly Right
05. (I Love You) For Sentimental Rea...
06. What'll I Do?
07. Morning Star
08. Penthouse Serenade (Instrumental)
10. Walkin' My Baby Back Home
12. Mona Lisa
13. Nature Boy
14. Somewhere Along The Way
16. A Blossom Fell
17. Can't I?
18. Let There Be Love
19. Almost Like Being In Love
21. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down (And Wr...
22. Let's Face The Music And Dance
23. Autumn Leaves (French Version)
24. When I Fall In Love
25. That Sunday, That Summer
26. Looking Back
27. L-O-V-E (Multi-Lingual Version)
28. I Wish You Love (Live At The San...