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Nat King Cole Sings George Shearing Plays Original recording remastered

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, August 1, 2000
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 1, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: 1961
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • ASIN: B00004U9MQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,439 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. September Song
2. Pick Yourself Up
3. I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)
4. Let There Be Love
5. Azure-Te
6. Lost April
7. A Beautiful Friendship
8. Fly Me To The Moon
9. Serenata
10. I'm Lost
11. There's A Lull In My Life
12. Don't Go
13. Everything Happens To Me
14. The Game Of Love
15. Guess I'll Go Back Home (Bonus Track)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


It would be difficult to think of a more perfectly matched pair than this. Shearing and Cole had so much in common--both were brilliant pianists, both had combined good jazz with popular success. They were even born in the same year. Nat Cole's velvet voice sounds even better with the rhythmic spice of Shearing's quintet, plus strings and percussion. The numbers on this 1961 album are all superb examples of classic American song, by such composers as Duke Ellington, Jerome Kern, and Matt Dennis. Each one is given a fresh and original treatment by arranger Ralph Carmichael. One of the tracks, "Let There Be Love," went on to become a hit single. The overall impression is of emotional warmth beneath a cool, elegant surface. Not surprisingly, Shearing still cherishes this album as one of his favorites in a long career. All that plus three bonus tracks. Unmissable. --Dave Gelly

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 33 customer reviews
I recommend this album to all lovers of popular music.
Wayne L. Schneider
"The Game of Love," with its syncopated Latin beat has a great piano solo by Shearing, flute-y piccolo sounds, and a more integrated accompaniment with the strings.
Mary Whipple
This excellent CD features the legendary Nat King Cole singing with George Shearing on piano.
Matthew G. Sherwin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By The Fancy One on September 12, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As I listened to this CD, in the back of my mind I kept wishing that it were Nat King Cole playing such excellent jazz piano. He certainly was capable. But his career as a singer took off like a jet, and his turns as a musician became fewer and fewer. However, Cole had a reputation for trying new things and liked collaborating with different artists to come up with something fresh and interesting. This CD is just one of the rewards of Cole's versatility.
George Shearing is an excellent jazz pianist that has a style amazingly similar to Nat Cole's. And it's no wonder -- they both have credited ivory tinklers Earl Hines, Art Tatum and Teddy Wilson as their influences. Shearing and his Quintet (especially Emil Richards on vibes) bring the songs here to life with their intimate, jazzy and bluesy nuances...a perfect background for Cole's smoky baritone. Nat swings and seduces you on every irresistable track, and even gets on the Latin tip ("The Game Of Love"). I am totally feeling these particular tracks: "September Song," "Beautiful Friendship," "Pick Yourself Up," "Azure-Te," "Fly Me To The Moon", "Serenata", "There's A Lull In My Life" and "I Got It Bad." Cole also revisits a couple of tunes he originally did with the King Cole Trio, "Lost April" and "I'm Lost." But hands down, the best track on this CD has GOT to be "Let There Be Love"!! It is the epitome of COOL. It is no wonder that this song became so popular when Nat did it in 1962, that it became a permanent part of his act.
These tracks sound just as fresh and new as if they were recorded yesterday! I highly recommend NAT "KING" COLE SINGS/GEORGE SHEARING PLAYS for anyone who has an appreciation for good music! So whatcha waiting for? Get it NOW! You will not be sorry.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Bob DePalma on August 28, 2000
Format: Audio CD
If you can only buy one Nat King Cole Album, it should be this one. The arrangements are great,Shearing compliments the Singer superbly, and I've never Heard Nat sound better. Every song is a gem. My favorites are "Let There Be Love", "There's A Lull In My LIfe", and his re-recording of "Lost April", which he did originally on the Original "Unforgettable" album. All in all, this is a real treat for Cole fans. As if all this wasn't enough, the sound engineering on this CD is magnificent. One can catch every Shearing nuiance, and the lush Bravura of Cole's Baritone. Years after his death, his fans are still numerous, and among them Engelbert, who does a tribute to him in his Act. Buy this one, you won't regret it.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Mark E. Farrington on October 13, 2004
Format: Audio CD
A poor soul, stuck in this post-9/11 era of ours,
might be forgiven, after listening to this impossibly
beautiful disc, for thinking of a lost time of breezy, assured prosperity,
new jet travel, Jack & Jackie in the White House, and a feeling of
"We've got all the time in the world
to enjoy these vouschsafed pleasures...Come on in and have at it."

And of course, it wasn't so simple: even in his exclusive Hancock Park home,
Nat & his family had to deal with racism, IRS harrassment and other controversies...
And Geroge Shearing's life, while fulfilling, has hardly been easy, being blind...
Still, from the oyster comes the pearl- in this case, 15 pearls (or tracks).

Often the "Shearing Quintet Sound" gets imitated and sounds, well,
superficial and "cocktail-y." But in the hands of its creator, this style
NEVER sounds like a surface-level bluff; it's beauty, borne of real-life struggle...
And after THAT, one can relax, let it unfold and "pleasure" us with its surprises.
One of those surprises: beholding the seemingly predictable voicings of melodic phrases
that you KNOW are coming;
when your "prediction" is fulfilled, you get not only a "logical satisfaction"
but a surprise "pleasure hit." Case in point: the instrumental bridge to "Azure-Te."
You "know" what's coming,
but the FEELING, regardless of how many times you play this track,
is a fresh surprise. It has to do with style, discipline and empathy- applied to
collective phrasing from one musical "clause" to the next.
Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on August 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Though Cole and Shearing came from totally different backgrounds, their approach to music was similar, and in this remastered CD of the original 1961 album, the two find the perfect blend of sound and mood, allowing each to be himself while complementing the other. Cole is a crooner here, singing mellow, usually romantic ballads, and often sliding down the scale to his lower notes. Shearing plays quiet, inventive, and "tinkly" accompaniments in the background, without ever stepping on Cole's notes. Both are gentlemen of the old school who maintain a professionalism and formality which shows clear respect for the audience and for each other, while at the same time conveying a sense of controlled passion and warmth for the music.

Varying the sound from the easy swing beat of "Pick Yourself Up," in which Cole offers gentle advice, rather than an assertive recommendation, to the Latin beat of "Serenata" and "The Game of Love," the very slow ballads of "Lost April" and "I Got It Bad," and the less familiar songs of "There's a Lull in My Life" and "Don't Go," Cole uses phrasings which make overly familiar lyrics suddenly come alive. Shearing, keeping his piano accompaniments relatively simple, adds to the moods Cole creates, while Ralph Carmichael, with the String Choir, fills in the arrangements.

Three songs stand out: "Let There Be Love" begins with a bluesy piano intro and light percussion, until Cole and Shearing guide the song into somewhat louder and jazzier realms near the end. "Fly Me to the Moon" is sung much more slowly than usual, sounding more intimate and private as a result, as if Cole is singing directly to the audience in phrasings that sound conversational.
Read more ›
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