I finally got to play the album yesterday. It is quite entrancing. In general, I am not very knowledgeable about the jazz offerings in the TP catalogue. It is usually a first time listening to these artists. However, in the case of Nat King Cole, I can remember his black and white television show, with the constant cigarette in his mouth, and the beautiful songs - "Mona Lisa" is one that I vividly remember from 50+ years ago. This album is full of songs like that - memorable tunes and lyrics, beginning with Kurt Weill's "September Song." I read somewhere long ago that Nat King Cole had a limited range of notes that he could sing, and he carefully chose songs that fit within that range. I certainly don't think about that when I listen to him. What a great, expressive voice. His partner, George Shearing, was equally accomplished. I saw a video of Oscar Peterson explaining the techniques of the great jazz pianists and he demonstrated how Shearing would play whole chords in the right hand to carry the melody line. We have a Yamaha Disklavier and one of the discs we bought for it is George Shearing playing. Quite a bit of fun to have Shearing playing the piano in our living room. Cole was also a great jazz pianist, but we don't get to hear him playing in this album.
Paul did his usual great job in mastering the tape. I don't know what condition it was in, but it sounds really fine - the subtleties of voice, piano and the accompanying jazz combo and strings are all there. Cole is pretty much hard left, and Shearing hard right in the stereo mix, with the other instruments spread around the sound stage. There are not hi-fi stereo extremes in the album - it is designed to highlight the singing of Cole and the piano artistry of Shearing. I wouldn't mind more of this kind of music - there is another pretty popular Capitol singer whom I could suggest.