The second set on the twofer, Tell Me All About Yourself, also has revealing cover art. An almost comical picture of Nat on the phone with a golf club in hand conjures a playboy image for the normally modest singer. Something about the twinkle in his eyes reveals that he’s asking a girl to tell him “all about herself” on the other end of that call.
This 1960 record features Dave Cavanaugh’s arrangements and makes for a perfect companion to Welcome to the Club because of the seamless production. Both albums contain a slew of standards and both albums find Cole plunging the depths, as it were, to find a selection of eclectic songs that wouldn’t normally see releases on similar records that stuck to familiar Great American Songbook standards.
Like Welcome to the Club, Tell Me All About Yourself is a leisurely swinging record. Using lesser-known works from some very celebrated songwriters, Cole diverts from some of the supreme scorchers that made his catalogue so impressive in the past and gears things down.
Tracks like Irving Berlin’s “The Best Thing For You” use simple tempo and flashing blasts from the band. “I only want the best thing for you,” Cole intones. “And the best thing for you is me.” Smooth as silk, Nat.
Other tunes venture through some odd lyrical territory (“You’ve Got the Indian Sign On Me”) and moody opulence (“This Is Always”) with Cole always adeptly in the driver’s seat to ease the path. The magnificence of this album comes not on its first listen, but perhaps around the third or fourth listens when the songs really bond together and Cole’s spotless command of the proceedings shines through.
With Welcome to the Club and Tell Me All About Yourself, Collectors’ Choice has assembled a pair of appealing recordings from the master baritone. The albums are not instant hits, but after a few listens the quality of these great tunes and Nat’s remarkable voice will become quite evident.