Penthouse Serenade by Nat King Cole

First Nat King Cole was a renowned pianist.  Then he became a vocalist—a move, which for some reason pissed off both Jazz listeners and critics.  On 1953's Penthouse Serenade he became a pianist once again.  Look how gorgeous the album cover is! What you see is sort of what you get.  Are you "seeing" classy, tasteful, jazz standards played on piano? Bingo.  This album features guitarist John Collins, bassist Charlie Harris and drummer Bunny Shawker.  My personal favorite cut is "Laura."  It's not actually a standard per se, but it essentially became one after the success of the 1944 movie for which it was written for.  What else? Let's talk about the musicians once again.  John Collins can also be found on recordings by Art Tatum and Billie Holliday.   Charles Mingus was a huge fan of Charlie Harris's bass playing.  He can also be heard on some recordings by Dizzie Gillespie.  Lastly, Bunny Shawker was a reliable drummer who played with Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and, like John Collins, Billie Holliday, as well.  Enjoy this one.  It's an underrated classic.  

P.S. Cole also sings on the album, beginning on the classic "Walking My Baby Back Home." 

Penthouse Serenade by Nat King Cole

Like this? Here's another classic piano album you'll love.  It's called Piano Reflections and it's Duke Ellington alone on piano.  No backing whatsoever.  Brilliant.  This album has followed me for about 6 years.  I want to say that the track order on the spotify playlist differs from that of the CD.  But since I'm positive that the track order on the CD differs from that of the original LP, it's essentially meaningless, right? Right?! Right.  You say you wanna listen? Right on! 

Piano Reflections by Duke Ellington