The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Artists in Action #766
Son of a Preacherman #10

Nat King Cole projects


Who Am Us Anyway? said...

dang. That's not how I pictured Nat King Cole, not at all. My 1 & only exposure to NKC was "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" courtesy of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Christmas Album of 1970 or so i believe. Now I must rethink. Damn you Mister Muleboy!

estiv said...

WAUA, Cole was one of those performers whose late work made him a lot more money than his early work, but...well...

Try this:

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

'cause i never take her where the gang goes ... thanks estiv

Amileoj said...

Before gaining path breaking success as a pop singer. Cole was well established as one the very finest Jazz pianists of his era. His ferocious but seemingly effortless swing was much copied, and still is.

Because the bassist's face is turned, I'm not sure if that's Wesley Prince or Johnny Miller (i.e., if this is before or after about '46). But that is most definitely the great Oscar Moore on guitar, with the big, Charlie Christian style pickup on his ax clearly visible just over Cole's shoulder.

Moore was an essential element in Cole's wildly successful development, in the 30's, of what became the classic jazz trio format, at a time when big bands still ruled the roost. Moore has somewhat faded into obscurity since he did not share in leader's huge pop success, but if you love the sound of jazz guitar it is worth hunting down examples of his work. You won't be disappointed!