Route 66

Nat King Cole

Cole sings and plays one of his big hits

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Nat King Cole (1919-65) had two overlapping careers, having great artistic success as one of jazz’s top pianists of the 1940s and impressive commercial success as a singer in the 1950s.

In 1950, as his singing began to take over his performances (thanks partly to the best-selling recording of “Mona Lisa”), Cole was still performing and traveling with his small group.

Cole’s trio had been expanded to a quartet with the addition of Jack Costanzo on congas and bongos who joined guitarist Irving Ashby and bassist Johnny Miller.

This Snader transcription, which was filmed for television to use as a fill-in whenever a live show ran short of time, features Nat King Cole performing a definitive version of Bobby Troup’s “Route 66.”

-Scott Yanow


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