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Nat King Cole At The Sands

2002 audio CD release of 1960 "live" performance

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What's not to like about Nat's only on-stage recording???

  • Dec 11, 2008
 I have often remarked that Nat King Cole was incapable of making a bad record.  So when I happened upon "Nat King Cole At The Sands" I thought I'd put my theory to the test.  I was unfamiliar with a majority of the tunes from this "live" 1960 concert performance.  And to say the least the master did not disappoint!
Listening to "At The Sands" reminded me of just how warm and wonderful a performer the late Nat King Cole was.  He is one of a handful of artists I could listen to for hours at a time.  His fans were estatic when Capitol finally released this album on CD back in 2002.  For here was a "live" performance that showcased the many talents of this American icon
Of course, everyone loves the opening track on this disc, his 1957 hit "Ballerina".  But there are many more gems for you to discover here.  Of the many tunes I was previously unfamiliar with I particularly enjoyed       "I Wish You Love", a tune imported from France and Cole Porter's delightful ditty "Miss Otis Regrets (She's Unable To Lunch Today)".  Fans of jazz and the King Cole Trio are sure to enjoy the three instrumentals on this disc that include the Rodgers and Hart standard "Where Or When" and the Duke Ellington classic "In A Mellow Tone"Nat was never better at the piano!!!  And for a complete change of pace check out the rousing "Joe Turner Blues". Nat managed to whip his audience into quite a frenzy with that number! Finally, don't miss the wild and wonderful novely number "Mr. Cole Won't Rock & Roll".  Lasting nearly 8 full minutes this selection is sure to put a smile on your face.

Unlike some of the other Nat King Cole reissues "At The Sands" has been lovingly remastered for your listening enjoyment.  The accompanying 12 page booklet enchances your enjoyment of this memorable performance by one of this country's all time greats.  If you are at all interested I would snap this one up now because the reality is that selections like this one are often available for a limited time and then discontinued without notice.  Very highly recommended!!!!

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Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #2
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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About this song


Debonair Nat King Cole sat at the piano and sang for a large Las Vegas audience from 2:30 until 5:00 in the wee hours of the morning on January 14, 1960. This wasn't the usual casino audience: this dedicated throng flocked to see Cole with the knowledge that the performance would be recorded. They sensed something special and they were right. Entertainers' performing schedules usually overlap. Since this one was scheduled after most showrooms go dark, it offered other Las Vegas entertainers the opportunity to sit and enjoy.

As usual, the music includes Cole's graceful piano fills and brief keyboard solos. "Where or When" is presented as a piano feature, as are two bonus tracks (at the end), which were recorded in a studio several months earlier. The big surprise of the reissue comes in the form of another bonus track—this one recorded that same morning at the Sands in Las Vegas: "Mr. Cole Won't Rock 'n' Roll." At the very end he adds, "I could if I wanted, though." Nat King Cole could do it all. This 8-minute medley includes a rock 'n' roll version of "Nature Boy" with altered lyrics that speak of "an enchanted cat" who said, "Come dwell in Heartbreak Hotel," and "I think, uh, Elvis was his name." The song is quite a gem, and adds immeasurably to the original recording.

The orchestra includes strings, but performs largely with a big band sound. Hence, the session swings. The emphasis for this well-preserved classic concert performance is on Cole's unforgettable vocal ...

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Genre: Pop, Jazz
Release Date: August 13, 2002

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