Easily the longest of any Capitol single-disc compilation, 2005's The World of Nat King Cole also benefits from a fresh remastering of its material to make it the best introduction to the interpretive brilliance of Nat King Cole. Nearly all the hits that need to be here are indeed present: "Straighten Up and Fly Right," "Route 66," "Nature Boy," "Too Young," and "Mona Lisa." The compilers also wisely chose a few representative songs to replace some of the middling hits; the only surprise is the absence of "The Christmas Song" and "Lush Life," although the chart hits – "Answer Me, My Love," "Pretend," "Looking Back"…
Favorite Ballads is an entertaining collection of lush, romantic ballads Nat King Cole recorded for Capitol Records. It's not designed to be a comprehensive compilation for collectors. Instead, it's a nice sampler. Latter-day fans may be dismayed that "Unforgettable" is missing, but such songs as "The Very Thought of You," "Just One of Those Things," "Stardust," "These Foolish Things," "Tenderly," "I Should Care," and "You're My Thrill" make this a very pleasant listen.
This gig appears to be a testimony to the recuperative powers of John Wetton’s constitution. Having been out partying in the company of David Enthoven and Richard Palmer-James the night before in Munich, he still manages an impressive performance on Doctor Diamond and indeed throughout the rest of the gig. Though the good Doctor would forever elude them in the studio it seems that the band really beginning to find the soul of this song in concert. Fracture has a risky quality tonight; Bruford is in an adventurous mood whilst David’s tron is a touch out of tune.
Brahms’s two sonatas for clarinet and piano, Op 120, composed in 1894, were followed only by the four Serious Songs and a set of organ chorale preludes (some of which may have been written at earlier times). His farewell to chamber music was also his farewell gift to the clarinet. The two works recorded here were preceded by the Clarinet Trio in A minor (Op 114) and the great Clarinet Quintet in B minor (Op 115), and all four masterpieces were inspired by the playing of Richard Mühlfeld, principal clarinettist of the Meiningen Orchestra.