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A Jazz Legend - Through the Years 1930 to 1998

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Album Review

Most Nat Gonella retrospectives naturally concentrate upon vintage recordings made during the 1930s when this trumpeter and vocalist was at peak popularity in his native England. In 1998, just weeks after his passing at the age of 90, a magnificent 20-track anthology was released on the Avid label that combines his classic jazz and dance band sides with latter-day recordings, some of which appear to have been made in 1998. These latter day performances feature old Gonella as vocalist accompanied by an excellent contemporary old-fashioned jazz band. Here is an ancient and thoroughly seasoned jazzman, singing his heart out and scatting at times in duet with the clarinetist (see "Satchmo Blues"). It's a pleasant tribute to a great musician, and a worthwhile supplement to his more commonly encountered early works.


Born: 07 March 1908 in London, England

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s

Inspired by Louis Armstrong, Nat Gonella in the 1930s could be considered the Wingy Manone or Louis Prima of England. He started off playing in the jazz-oriented dance bands of Billy Cotton, Roy Fox, Ray Noble, and Lew Stone from 1929 to 1934 before leading his own band, the Georgians, named thus because his version of "Georgia on My Mind" was popular. Although he visited and played in the U.S. in 1939, Gonella chose to stay in England where he made many records during 1932-1942, a few in the mid-'40s,...
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A Jazz Legend - Through the Years 1930 to 1998, Nat Gonella
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