Saturday, May 26, 2012

Nat King Cole - Tell Me All About Yourself/Touch of Your Lips

As he'd done on the thoroughly excellent outing Welcome to the Club (1959), Nat King Cole (vocals/piano) once again teams up with Dave Cavanaugh (orchestral arranger) for a sublime slice of refined vocal-led jazz underscored by an equally sophisticated combo. Unlike their previous collaboration, Cavanaugh isn't directing the Count Basie band, but even a trained ear would be challenged to discern the difference as both the artist and conductor are heard here at the top of their games. The effort obviously translated to listeners, as Tell Me All About Yourself (1960) made it to a respectable number 33 on the Top 40 album survey. The project's title song "Tell Me All About Yourself" benefits from the vocalist's playfulness against the understated swing of the score. As it churns below the surface, Cole maneuvers his lead without ever having to compete with a brash brass section. There is a certain hearkening to a vintage sound on several selections. Among them are Cole's take on the Sammy Cahn staple "Until the Real Thing Comes Along" and the sweet simplicity of "Crazy She Calls Me," "Dedicated to You," and the closer "(I Would Do) Anything for You." Those back-to-basics versions are contrasted by comparatively modern interpretations of Irving Berlin's "What's the Best Thing for You" and the instrumental muted-trumpet regality that Cavanaugh infuses into the distinguished "When You Walked By." Cole ably displays his ability to jump and jive with the best of them. He goes head-to-head with the orchestra on the sassy and refreshingly politically incorrect "You've Got the Indian Sign on Me" and the similarly energized "For You." In 2007, Tell Me All About Yourself was coupled with the aforementioned Welcome to the Club on a two-fer CD by Collectors' Choice Music as part of their restoration of Cole's classic Capitol Records catalog. - by Lindsay Planner, AMG

If the front cover of the album, a close-up photograph of a young woman, her eyes closed, her red lips ready for a kiss, her cheek being brushed by a young man (both of them white, incidentally), didn't get the point across, the note on the back cover, beginning, "In the romantic mood of The Very Thought of You and Love Is the Thing...," surely did. Nat King Cole's first LP of 1961, The Touch of Your Lips, was another in a series of ballad collections devoted to the wonders of love. Arranger/conductor Ralph Carmichael supported Cole with a buoyant sea of strings and kept the tempos very slow, the better for the singer's rich tone to convey the bedroom ambience. This was music for the adults of 1961, adults who remembered many of these songs as swing standards of the 1930s and '40s when they were performed by the likes of Ray Noble (the title song and "You're Mine, You!"), Jimmy Dorsey ("I Remember You"), Glenn Miller ("A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square"), and Ozzie Nelson ("Lights Out"). Those were all bandleaders, of course, and Cole had little trouble putting his own stamp on songs sung earlier by band singers Al Bowlly, Bob Eberly, and Ray Eberle. But he also borrowed no less than three selections ("Poinciana [Song of the Tree]," "Sunday, Monday, or Always," "Only Forever") from the repertoire of Bing Crosby, and that was more of a challenge, one he did not entirely meet. Still, The Touch of Your Lips succeeded in taking its place alongside Cole's other effective ballad albums.- by William Ruhlmann, AMG

Artist: Nat King Cole
Album: Tell Me All Abou Yourself (1-12)/Touch of Your Lips (13-24)
Year: 1960/1961 (Capitol)
Label: EMI (1997)
Runtime: 69:27

1.  Tell Me About Yourself (Mel Leven/Hub Atwood) 2:08
2.  Until The Real Thing Comes Along (Sammy Cahn/Saul Chaplin/L.E. Freeman/Mann Holiner/Alberta) 3:10
3.  Best Thing For You (Irving Berlin) 2:01
4.  When You Walked By (Johnny Burke/Joe Bushkin) 2:49
5.  Crazy She Calls Me (Bob Russell/Carl Sigman) 2:37
6.  You've Got The Indian Sign On Me (Johnny Burke/Joe Bushkin) 1:49
7.  For You (Joe Burke/Al Dubin) 2:21
8.  Dedicated To You (Sammy Cahn/Saul Chaplin/Hy Zaret) 2:53
9.  You Are My Love (Bass/Sherman) 1:56
10.  This Is Always (Mack Gordon/Harry Warren) 2:57
11.  My Life (Nat King Cole/Nat Simon) 2:11
12.  (I Would Do) Anything For You (John Hill/Claude Hopkins/Bobby Williams) 1:47
13.  The Touch Of Your Lips (Ray Noble) 3:52
14.  I Remember You (Victor Schertzinger/Johnny Mercer) 3:13
15.  Illusion (Sol Parker/Lillian Moss/Barry Iver) 2:54
16.  You're Mine You (Johnny Green/Edward Heyman) 3:22
17.  Funny (Not Much) (Philip Broughton/Robert Merrill/Marcia Neil/Hughie Prince) 3:05
18.  Poinciana (Nat Simon/Buddy Bernier) 3:56
19.  Sunday Monday Or Always (Johnny Burke/James VanHeusen) 2:21
20.  Not So Long Ago (Fred Tobias/Al Frisch) 4:07
21.  A Nightingale Sung In Berkeley Square (Eric Maschwitz/Manning Sherwin) 4:46
22.  Only Forever (Johnny Burke/James V. Monaco) 3:19
23.  My Need For You (Allan Roberts/Al Frisch) 3:24
24.  Lights Out (John Hill) 2:29

Nat King Cole (Piano, Vocals)
David Cavanaugh (Arranged) - 1-12
Ralph Carmichael (Arranged) - 13-24


  1. Could You Please Tell Me The Password, Thank you Patrick

  2. Hi Patrick,
    The pw is in the text file...

  3. Where is the link to download this ? I would very much appreciate it please



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