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Once in a while, an uncommonly cool treasure vaults forth from obscurity. As genuine as it is genuinely rare, Nat King Cole's 10th Anniversary is one such dusty valuable. Here re-issued for the first time in any form, this 1955 collection compiles 16 songs that bridged Cole's focal readjustment from charismatic bandleader to timeless vocal giant. In so doing, "Lulubelle," "Rough Ridin'," and--with Cole's eponymous trio--especially "I'm an Errand Boy for Rhythm" swing like swan songs to youth. Despite occasional mawkishness, like the syrupy solitude of "But All I've Got is Me," this set constructs a playful sculpture of song, elastic in its breadth and with no shortage of good times. Even its saddest lyric, "Wish I Were Somebody Else," documents a smoky introspection that only Cole could pull off with such exhibitionist sincerity. With so many musical roles yet to play, Cole had still, by this time, managed to record much that presaged both highs and lows to come. Missteps like "Mother Nature and Father Time" foreshadow later Broadway misadventures, but if this first important digest retains a few warts, its long shelf life more than makes up for it. --Jason Kirk
1. Dream a Little Dream of Me
2. There!I've Said It Again
4. I'm an Errand Boy For Rhythm
5. The Love Nest
6. But All I've Got Is Me
8. I Can't Be Bothered
9. Too Soon
10. Rough Ridin'
11. The Story of My Wife
12. Sleeping Beauty
14. Where Were You?
15. Mother Nature and Father Time
16. Wish I Were Somebody Else
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