King Cole Trio

Gift guide


King Cole Trio

Transcriptions (Blue Note)

There was something truly delightful about the Nat King Cole Trio, and an integral part of their soulful, sophisticated sound came from Austin-born guitarist Oscar Moore. The combination of his rhythmic dexterity, giving the group its understated yet propulsive swing, and his impeccable leads, grounded in a blues-rich Lone Star tradition, complemented Cole's remarkably fluid piano and velvety smooth vocals. Moore's superb fretwork bridged the gap between Charlie Christian and T-Bone Walker in the still fertile, decades-long legacy of Texas guitar heroes. Extremely popular in its day, the Trio was hugely influential on the likes of Ray Charles, Oscar Peterson, and Charles Brown, with whom Moore and his brother Johnny would later form the Three Blazers. Moore appears on two of the three CDs in this set (formidable guitarist Irving Ashby is featured on the third), which collects all 71 sides Cole recorded for the Capitol Transcription Service between 1946 and 1950. In addition to the extraordinary number of commercially available sides the Trio recorded throughout the Forties, they also waxed these "live" in-studio sessions for transcription services that, in turn, produced them as 15-minute segments for radio broadcast. These tended to be relaxed, one-take gigs that were more conducive to artistic risk-taking than the typical recording date. Many selections never appeared commercially, including some dazzling instrumentals. This is the King Cole Trio in its prime and a splendid showcase for the Texas guitar of homegrown Oscar Moore.


The 2021-2022 Austin Music Awards Music Poll is underway. Vote now for your favorite bands, venues, and music until January 31.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Fall Platters
Jeff Lofton
Jericho (Record Review)

Michael Toland, Nov. 29, 2019

Texas Platters
Golden Dawn Arkestra
Darkness Falls on the Edge of Time (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, Sept. 20, 2019

More by Jay Trachtenberg
Jay Trachtenberg’s Top Books of 2021
Jay Trachtenberg’s Top Books of 2021
In a lost year, retrospectives and reprints with new context were comfort reads

Dec. 17, 2021

New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

April 16, 2021

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle