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John Pizzarelli Names Nine Favorite Nat King Cole Tunes

The guitarist and singer's list includes popular favorites and deep cuts

John Pizzarelli
John Pizzarelli (photo: Brian Saunders)

Nat Cole is the reason why I do what I do. When I was led in the direction of the trio records by my father, Bucky Pizzarelli, I heard songs that directly related to what I wanted to do as a jazz musician. I was not ready to sing “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” or “Lush Life” at 20. I was able to sing “Straighten Up and Fly Right,” “Frim Fram Sauce,” and “Route 66,” and also have a platform for playing jazz through those tunes. To this day, it’s material that speaks to this errand boy for rhythm, for sentimental reasons. Nat Cole’s music will never be irrelevant because of his musical and vocal sincerity; it will continue to be vital through the vast corridors of time.

Click here for more on Nat King Cole’s latest reissue

Listen to a playlist featuring all of the songs mentioned. 

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