Cole Español Nat King Cole

Album info

Album-Release:
1958

HRA-Release:
23.01.2014

Label: Capitol Records

Genre: Jazz

Subgenre: Latin Jazz

Album including Album cover

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  • 1Cachito02:49
  • 2Maria Elena02:39
  • 3Quizas, Quizas, Quizas (Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps)02:44
  • 4Las Mañanitas02:55
  • 5Acercate Mas (Come Closer To Me)02:48
  • 6El Bodeguero (Grocer's Cha-Cha)02:23
  • 7Arrivederci Roma02:44
  • 8Noche De Ronda02:31
  • 9Tu, Me Delirio02:34
  • 10Te Quiero Dijiste02:38
  • 11Adelita02:09
  • Total Runtime28:54

Info for Cole Español

Latin language recordings were common among American pop vocalists in the '50's. The singer would have to learn the words phonetically, a feat all the more impressive when one considers that at the time performances were almost always 'live' even in the studio.

In 1958, Nat went to Havana, Cuba and decided to record his first Latin American records. Seeing to the arrangements was no less than Nelson Riddle, but rather than impose his style, Nelson sought a more authentic orchestral flavor. The orchestra was under the able direction of Armando Romeu, Jr. and Mariachi de Alfredo Serna, with the results being unusually authentic for the genre. In this first album, the orchestras were recorded in Havana, Cuba, and Nat recorded his vocal later at the Tower. Nat's efforts at Latin American dialects doubtless sound strangely accented to anyone familiar with the appropriate languages, but there's no question that the sound and musicality of his voice and the efforts of Nelson, Armando and Alfredo come off fine.

Nat King Cole's beautiful sound translates across language barriers. This album was more proof. The most important factor though is probably just having an honest good nature come across, which anyone can appreciate. Nat and Capitol would encore twice, with A Mis Amigos and More Cole Espanol, and Latin and English speaking folks alike bought impressive amounts of all three albums.

'Nat King Cole addressed his growing international following with Cole Español, on which he sang in Spanish. Although he did not speak the language, he learned the song lyrics phonetically. Nine of the 11 selections had backing tracks recorded by conductor Armando Romeu, Jr., in Havana, Cuba, in February 1958, with Cole adding his vocals in Hollywood in June. The other two, 'Cachito' and 'Noche de Ronda,' were cut with Hispanic musicians in Hollywood under the direction of Capitol Records' Dave Cavanaugh. The tunes were a mixed bag of Latin standards including Mexican mariachi music ('Adelita') and even the Italian 'Arrivederci Roma' (sung in Spanish), and Cole's vocals were augmented by the Rivero Quartet and other uncredited singers. While that no doubt was intended to shore up his tentative performances, it actually showed him up, as the native Spanish singers offered a painful contrast to his own pedestrian readings of words he did not understand and pronounced with no flair. (On one track, 'Tú, Mi Delirio,' he abandoned the microphone for the piano to delightful effect.) Cole's singing voice was as smooth and attractive as ever, which must have helped, though, and the album's sales — it reached the Top 20 in the U.S. and was a big hit internationally — indicated that Spanish-speaking audiences were flattered that an American singer would try so hard to communicate with them in their own language.' (AllMusic.com)

'Nat King Cole's beautiful sound translates across language barriers.'

Nat Cole, vocals
Nelson Riddle, arranger
Mariachi de Alfredo Serna
Armando Romeu, Jr., conductor

Recorded February 17th, 18th, 20th 1958 & June 11th & 30th 1958
Produced by Lee Gillette

Digitally remastered.


Nat King Cole
Born March 17, 1919 in Montgomery, Alabama, Nat King Cole reigns among a very short list of music royalty as one of the most identifiable and most memorable voices in American music. In 1942, Cole was one of the first artists to sign with Capitol Records, and he recorded nearly 700 songs for the label, becoming the first Number One artist on Billboard's first album chart. During his 30-year recording career, Cole recorded more than 150 charting singles on Billboard's Pop, R&B and Country charts, a staggering record that remains unbroken by any other artist ever signed to Capitol Records, which led to the label being affectionately tagged, "The House That Nat Built."

In 1956, Cole also became the first person of color to host his own national network television show, NBC's "Nat King Cole Show." 1965 saw the release of Cole's classic album, Unforgettable, and his untimely passing that year at the age of 47. At the time of his death, it was reported that Capitol Records had sold more than nine million Nat King Cole records. From "Mona Lisa" to "Unforgettable," Nat King Cole's songs are incomparable; it is difficult to contemplate a holiday season without the warmth of Cole's evergreen rendition of "The Christmas Song." Cole's catalog continues to sell in excess of one million albums per year around the world.

In January 2005, Nat King Cole made his first return in 40 years to Billboard's Top 50 with the #41 debut of The World Of Nat King Cole (Capitol/EMI). Cole's last album to reach the Top 50, Unforgettable, peaked at #30 in 1965. In 1991, Natalie Cole's Unforgettable: With Love, featuring her warm virtual duet of "Unforgettable" with her father, topped charts around the world and won the coveted Album Of The Year Grammy Award, introducing Nat King Cole to a new generation of music fans.

For the March 2009 release of Nat King Cole's RE:GENERATIONS (Capitol/EMI), many of the world's most pioneering hip-hop, Latin, reggae and rock musicians, producers and DJs joined together to bring each of their distinct styles to 13 of Cole's outstanding recordings. Evocative of a sleek and stylish metrolounge where music and the visual arts converge, RE:GENERATIONS honors Nat King Cole's continued cultural influence around the planet, 90 years after his birth.

Interest in Nat King Cole's story continues to grow as younger generations discover his music as well as his role as the quiet catalyst in a host of musical and social movements. The arc of Cole's life is a study in success despite adversity, and the triumph of civility, respect and raw talent in equal measure with political, cultural and business savvy.

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