Kudos to Ron Warnick over at Route 66 News for spotting this announcement last week on Yahoo! Finance (riiiight; where else would Universal Music put a new album announcement? Not like you’d be thinking Billboard magazine or anything …). It seems Universal Music Enterprises, which owns the old Capitol Records archive, found some unreleased tracks recorded by Nat Cole at a Chicago session circa 1955. Or rather, Alex Luke, former EVP of A&R at Capitol Records and a big Nat King Cole fan, spent two years working in the Capitol vaults trying to locate missing master tapes, combing through photos, union records, paperwork and tapes to find this material, which evidently got misplaced at about the time Capitol ws moving into its (then) brand new Capitol Tower at Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles.
The search paid off: the targeted session tapes are still missing, but the unreleased tracks and alternate takes that Luke found were golden. The standard edition of the new release will hav 22 classic Cole performances, whereas the two-CD deluxe edition — that’s the one you want, folks — features 14 rare or previously unreleased tracks, including four never-before-heard vintage songs and previously unissued alternate takes of Nat Cole standards. They’ll all be downloadable, of course.