Monday, May 29, 2017

Nat King Cole Trio - Complete Early Transcriptions (1938-1941)

The Complete Early Transcriptions of The King Cole Trio 1938-1941 (Vintage Jazz Classics VJC-1026/27/28/29) has wonderful, detailed liners which cover that era of the Trio's career. According to these notes, Nat formed the Trio in September 1937, as The King Cole Swingsters, to play a gig at the Swannee Inn on North LaBrea in Hollywood California that turned out to run six months.
The group consisted of himself on piano and lead vocal, Oscar Moore on guitar and Wesley Prince on bass. Nat also handled most of the arrangements and associated work, a job which was complicated by the fact that this was a rather unorthodox instrumentation and moreover was without a staple instrumental section, drums. Oscar Moore would become one of the most influential musicians in the early era of electric guitar, racking up numerous awards and a generation of attentive disciples on the instrument. But at the beginning here, Oscar is on an acoustic guitar.
What was this group like ? Well, in 1937, Swing Was King. There was 'hot' swing playing all over, but jazz and popular song were not the separate entities they would evolve into by the 1950's. Most of the widely heard stuff was pop music featuring swing influences in music and scat vocal, generally falling into four types: ballads, blues (which often blended), novelty or dance (which often blended). To get a sense of the popular side of that scene one could give a listen to say, Judy Garland's earliest Decca singles. Or this set, because the instruments of the Trio, musically and vocally, were largely oriented toward delivering a flexible, bouncy and neatly organized form of novelty swing pop.
Nat's vocals were present from the beginning, but solos are rare. Excepting the occasional pure instrumental trip, the Trio consistently perform, in unison, the jaunty numbers replete with thirties scat that goes something like this :


And a polly wolly do dah day. So, the early Trio recordings tend to be more firmly dated than they'd be from say, 1943 on, by which time Trio vocalizing had been reduced to an occasional, differently styled feature. To put us back into perspective, let's say we just walked into the joint and are hearing The King Cole Swingsters. What we'd hear is timely, accessible, but at the same time, hip and extremely "neat." Rock solid musicianship plays a stripped-down framework of music, pared down to essential lines of pulsing rhythm and melody, distilling the tight integration of time with melody that typified the popular song of the day into a dark glass which the trio worked into bold, attractive art pieces. Lyric and all that jive are liberally printed around it, and in most vocalized tunes we have something of the song equivalent of a striking, custom-made deco cologne bottle. Solid jive, Jack.

Source :

Nat King Cole
Complete Early Transcriptions


Cd. 1

1 Mutiny in the Nursery (Mercer)  2:47
2 F.D.R. Jones (Rome)  3:03
3 The Sheik of Araby (Smith, Snyder, Wheeler)  2:12
4 The Blue Danube (Strauss)  2:46
5 Button, Button (Boland, Reichmer)  2:43
6 Jingle Bells (Pierpont)  2:28
7 Swanee River (Foster)  2:23
8 With Plenty of Money and You (Dubin, Warren)  2:10
9 Don't Blame Me (Fields, McHugh, Raksin, Wess)  2:19
10 Lullaby in Rhythm (Goodman, Hirsch, Profit, Sampson)  2:44
11 Dark Rapture (Goodman, Kurtz, Sampson)  3:10
12 By the River Sainte Marie (Leslie, Warren)  2:11
13 The Wiggly Walk (Jacobs, Oppenheim, Palmer ?)  2:49
14 Flea Hop (Unknown)  2:39
15 Chopsticks (DeLulli)  2:40
16 Patty Cake, Patty Cake (Baker Man) (Johnson, Razaf, Waller)  2:39
17 Blue Skies (Berlin)  2:07
18 Liza (All the Clouds'll RollAway) (Gershwin, Gershwin, Kahn)  2:54
19 Three Blind Mice (Morehouse, Trad., Trumbauer)  2:05
20 Caravan (Ellington, Mills, Tizol)  2:15
21 There's No Anesthetic for Love (Prince)  3:11
22 Dixie Jamboree (Cole, Davis, Johnson, Unknown)  3:00
23 Ta-De-Ah (Unknown)  2:35
24 Riffin' at the Bar-B-Q (Unknown)  2:00
25 Harlem Swing (Unknown)  2:26
26 I Lost Control of Myself (Unknown)  3:11


Cd. 2

1 The Land of Make Believe (Unknown)  2:46
2 That "Please Be Mine"-Able Feeling (Unknown)  2:12
3 Dancing in the Street (Norris, Norris)  3:01
4 You're So Different (Fain, Parish)  2:55
5 I Wouldn't Have Known It (Bryant, Cole)  2:28
6 Let's Get Happy (Cole, Unknown)  2:12
7 Undecided (Robin, Shavers)  2:20
8 'Tain't What You Do (It's the Way That You Do It) (Oliver, Young)  2:49
9 Do You Wanna Jump, Children ? (Bryant, Donahue, Seisman, VanHeusen)  2:40
10 Riffin' in F Minor (Unknown)  2:02
11 Ol' Man Mose Ain't Dead (Cahn, Chaplin)  3:25
12 Blue Lou (Mills, Sampson)  2:56
13 Honey (Gillespie, Simons, Whiting)  2:06
14 Russian Lullaby (Berlin)  2:01
15 Georgie Porgie (Trad.)  2:19
16 The Limp (Unknown)  2:49
17 Snug as a Bug in a Rug (Unknown)  2:29
18 Liebestraum (Liszt, Ram)  3:17
19 Fidgety Joe (Loesser, Malneck ?)  2:52
20 Two Against One (Unknown)  2:57
21 Some Like It Hot (Biondi, Krupa, Lane, Loesser)  3:04
22 I Like to Riff (Cole)  2:27
23 Crazy Rhythm (Caesar, Kahn, Meyer)  1:56
24 Moonglow (DeLange, Hudson, Mills)  2:52
25 Don't Let That Moon Get Away (Burke, Monaco)  2:41
26 My Blue Heaven (Donaldson, Whiting)  1:32


Cd. 3

1 I Was Doing All Right (Gershwin, Gershwin)  2:12
2 I Can't Get Started (Duke, Gershwin)  2:37
3 Old Man Moon (Carmichael)  2:12
4 Carry Me Back to Old Virginny (Bland)  2:09
5 Moon Song (Coslow, Johnston)  3:02
6 Baby Won't You Please Come Home (Warfield, Williams)  2:12
7 Sweet Lorraine (Burwell, Parish)  3:16
8 Rosetta (Hines, Woode)  2:05
9 Trompin' (Unknown)  2:34
10 You're My Life (Unknown)  2:47
11 Hoy Soy (Unknown)  2:27
12 Black Spider Stomp (Cole, Moore)  2:51
13 Take 'Em (Unknown)  2:19
14 Scategoria (Unknown)  2:25
15 Rhythm Serenade (Unknown)  2:29
16 Rib Town Shuffle (Unknown)  2:42
17 Music'll Chase Your Blues Away (Unknown)  1:57
18 I'll Gather up My Memories (Unknown)  3:26
19 A Fool's Affair (Unknown)  3:27
20 Jump Jack Jump (Roberts)  2:43
21 I Knew a Time (Unknown)  3:02
22 Mine You'll Always Be (Unknown)  3:13
23 Doin' the Bow Wow (Unknown)  2:39
24 Lilla Mae (Unknown)  2:14


Cd. 4

1 Slew Foot Joe (Unknown)  2:10
2 1, 2, 3, 4 (Gabler, Jenkins)  2:06
3 Crazy 'Bout Rhythm (Unknown)  1:59
4 Off the Beam (Unknown)  2:14
5 King Cole Blues (Unknown)  2:03
6 Jivin' With the Notes (Unknown)  1:56
7 Early Morning Blues (Cole, Coleman, McCarthy, Terry)  2:51
8 Bedtime (Sleep Baby Sleep) (Black, Cole, Roberts, Rocco)  2:40
9 Honey Hush (trad. arr. Cole, Turner, Turner)  2:13
10 French Toast (Cox, Morton, Ranking Roger ?)  2:10
11 Vine Street Jump (Unknown)  2:34
12 B-Flat (Unknown)  2:25
13 You Send Me (Adamson, McHugh)  2:04
14 Love Is My Alibi (Unknown)  3:06
15 Pogo Stick Bounce (Ahbez ?)  2:14
16 Gone With the Draft [# 1] (Cole, Dramin, Prince)  2:10
17 Jumpin' With the Mop (Cole)  2:20
18 Jam Man (Greene)  2:00
19 Let's Try Again (Hammond, Jones, Monroe)  2:58
20 Scotchin' With the Soda (Riley)  2:22
21 Fudge Wudge (Unknown)  3:44
22 Smokey Joe (Van Phillips, Ascher ?)  1:55
23 Windy City Boogie Woogie (Unknown)  2:19
24 Gone With the Draft [#2] (Cole, Dramin, Prince)  1:55
25 This Side Up (Cole)  2:41
26 Ode to a Wild Clam (Cole, Jenkins)  2:21


Nat "King" Cole - p, vc & clst
Oscar Moore - ac. or el. g & vc
Wesley Prince - b & vc
[Cd. 1, # 21-26 & Cd. 2, # 1-6]
Bonnie Lake - vc
Juanelda Carter - vc
[Cd. 2, # 23-26 & Cd. 3, # 1-4] * "Pauline and her Perils" aka "The Six Hits and a Miss"
Pauline Byrns, Vince Degan, Bill Seckler, Howard Hudson & Mark MacLean - vc
[Cd. 3, # 17-24] * "The Dreamers"
Unidentified black male vocal quartet

Recorded in diverse locations, Hollywood & Los Angeles ; between October 1938 & February (early) 1941

See the detailed booklet for more informations


deGallo said...

Marvelous! Thank you for this upgrade.

musician3 said...

AMAZING......................THANK YOU FOR ALL

zero said...

Really fine set. Thank you very much.

The Jackal said...

Dear Mel,

Thanks for a great year of new music.
Wishing you all the best for 2016.

Melanchthon said...

Thank You, the Jackal...

AmyBRAINS said...

A gem to me.
Many, many thanks, Melanchthon.

Fred Archtop said...

Thank you so much Mel. Mr. Cole is one of my favorite singers. Best to you.

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

Brush&Stick said...

Incredible set, many thanks!

chemuski said...

A true treasure ...Ty Mel !

bho wani said...

Great post again !! Thanks, Mel !

Melanchthon said...

Cd. 1/2 + artwork

Cd. 3/4

slr in tx said...

What can I say? Merci, Mel.

Kovina Kris said...

Quite a nice upgrade and expanded version for me. Thank you so much Mel!

Anonymous said...

What is the password to unzip these files?