Nat King Cole Live in Los Angeles 1944
During 1944, the King Cole trio were in an enviable situation. They were black, and at the same time they were the number one requested jazz group in America. They played for GI's during the Second World War, they played in clubs all over the world, but they still couldn't get into the same restaurants and hotels as other celebrities who happened to be born white.
There's a story floating about Duke Ellington, where he was denied buying a stick of gum because of the color of his skin. Reportedly he shrugged, flashed a genuine grin and said something like "How about that! Can't even get a stick of gum!" I believe during that time period that it took a real gentleman to behave like that. This is how Nat King Cole appears to me, to be the same sort of fellow.
Before he died of throat cancer in 1965, he had changed his vocal style away from jazz into the syrupy romantic balladier I believe he always wanted to be. But, to me, that is far from his best music. In his younger days, when this set was recorded, all they did was jam.
These recordings do not appear on other collections to the best of my knowledge. They apparently were recorded on two seperate dates. The first seven tracks are with the trio, and the last two are with a bigger band. I do have a partial lineup:
NKC, piano and vocal
Oscar Moore, Guitar
Johnny Miller, bass
June Christy, vocal
Jack Costanzo, bongos
The tracks are:
Old Piano Plays The Blues
Yes Sir, That's My Baby
Last But Not Least
Don't Cry, Cry Baby
Body and Soul
Cole's Bop Blues
Nat Meets June Christy
The Greatest Inventor
Note: This is a truly tiny torrent. That happens when the recordings are collapsed to mono and the one channel is duplicated to make two. Playing time is about 28 minutes.
Lineage: Boot LP -> Sound Forge 6.0->audio restoration ->stereo to mono (mono recording into stereo input first, then converted to mono two channel-> FLAC sectors aligned and verified.