Review by gonzostick January 6, 2011 (7 of 9 found this review helpful)
|Another incredible restoration from Analogue Productions. This is the third and last collaboration between Nat Cole and Gordon Jenkins, from 1963. Same format as "Love is the Thing" and "The Very Thought of You," string orchestra, harp, and rhythm, with Nat "King" Cole wrapping his velvety voice around a collection of songs that are just as wonderful a concept collection as Sinatra's concept albums of the same vintage.
Time was, before Prozac and rented analysts available on TV and at CostCo, that bars and saloons were the places where people went to exorcise the urban ennui of life in the US, not to mention, broken hearts. The analyst, of course, was the bartender, or a drinking buddy, listening, never telling, following the code mentioned in Johnny Mercer's lyrics for "One for My Baby." Of course, in 2011, in this confessional culture, such private thoughts are cheapened by their exposure by pop TV personalities, but this disc just presents a cycle of songs, just as if programmed by a 20th century Schubertiad, and there is great and deep catharsis as one listens to these lyrics.
One warning... There are TWO cuts added as bonus that were rejected from the original album issue, probably due to the inclusion of a chorus, so STOP THE DISC after, "THAT'S ALL THERE IS." That will give the listener the full cycle of poetry of this lovely recording.
Among the standouts, are "Spring is Here," "The End of a Love Affair," "Am I Blue," and Nat Cole cutting loose on the blues, in "No, I Don't Want Her." That last cut alone is worth the price of the disc.
This third collaboration also shows how Jenkins was able to better key the arrangements to make use of the range and coloration of Cole's voice, letting the singer cut loose emotionally, much more than in the previous two albums.
If you like American crooners, this disc is ESSENTIAL. This disc was not a big success when issued as America was turning its taste to things like Beatles, rock and roll, and country. Cole had just done country covers with "Ramblin' Rose," but this disc is really beautiful.
The sound is phenomenal, with Jenkins' layered string arrangements spread behind the singer's velvety voice, which, just like with all the other restorations in this series, defy description in print, due to the nuance extracted by the audio restoration magicians.
DO NOT MISS!!! I still vote that the Cole reissues are the SACD discs of the year...
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