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NAT GONELLA ~ Confessin'

It was when he joined the Billy Cotton Band in 1930 that Nat, aged 22, made it to the ‘big-time’. He progressed to working with Roy Fox then Lew Stone, and finally took the plunge in 1935 with his own jazz group, The Georgians. Until the outbreak of war, they were very popular and recorded for Parlophone.
The New Georgians, with a different personnel, recorded intermittently for Columbia between 1940 and 1942. The three tracks (where Nat reverts to the pre-war name of The Georgians) and which open this collection were made for Decca in 1945. Recordings were very thin on the ground over the next few years, and by the early 50s Nat was appearing as a solo turn in variety theatres and nightclubs. Happily, Nat re-emerged on the jazz scene toward the end of the decade, and began recording again. The first group of recordings by The Georgia Jazz Band include trombonist Roy Crimmins, clarinetist Archie Semple and pianist Fred Hunt amongst the personnel. The Strong Arm Men recordings and the final group by The Georgia Jazz Band feature the two Lennies: Felix on piano and Hasting on drums. When It’s Sleepy Time Down South showcases Nat in duet with Lennie Felix. Although Nat hung up his trumpet for good in the 1970s, he carried on singing in his own inimitable style. He guested with several distinguished jazz musicians and combos in Holland and all over the United Kingdom until shortly before his death at the grand old age of ninety in 1998.

 

NAT GONELLA & HIS GEORGIANS
Gnat Jump
Thanks For The Boogie Ride (Voc. Nat Gonella)
Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry (Voc. Nat Gonella)
NAT GONELLA & THE GEORGIA JAZZ BAND
All Of Me (Voc. Nat Gonella)
Shine (Voc. Nat Gonella)
Nat’s Blues
I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles (Voc. Nat Gonella)
Ain’t Misbehavin’
Confessin’ (Voc. Nat Gonella)
The Sheik Of Araby (Voc. Nat Gonella)
NAT GONELLA & HIS STRONG ARM MEN
Save It, Pretty Mama (Voc. Nat Gonella)
Mack The Knife (Voc. Nat Gonella)
Georgia On My Mind (Voc. Nat Gonella)
You Rascal, You (Voc. Nat Gonella)
Satchmo Blues
Jeepers Creepers (Voc. Nat Gonella)
When It’s Sleepy Time Down South
I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
(Voc. Nat Gonella)
NAT GONELLA & THE GEORGIA JAZZ BAND
Runnin’ Wild (Voc. Nat Gonella)
Indiana
St James Infirmary (Voc. Nat Gonella)
Struttin’ With Some Barbecue
On A Slow Boat To China (Voc. Nat Gonella)

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Nat Gonella
Jazz trumpet player and bandleader Nat Gonella spent most of the war years serving in the Pioneer Corps, from August 1941 until his demobilisation in 1945. He had been able to perform during his years spent in service, but only during his spells of leave.

The scene that greeted him on his return to civilian life was not a comfortable one, and in common with many others who had been demobbed he found that "the welcome mat was missing". As if that wasn't enough, his second wife, Stella Moya, a pretty Malaysian starlet and vocalist, had left him for an American serviceman. In the halcyon pre-war years, Nat, as a teenager, had landed a job as a member of "Archie Pitt's Busby Band". Archie was at this time married to Gracie Fields, and Nat always remembered with gratitude the comedienne's kindness and generosity. It was when he joined the Billy Cotton Band in 1930 that Nat, then aged 22, made it to the 'big-time' league. He progressed to working with Roy Fox and then Lew Stone, and finally took the plunge in 1935 with his own jazz group, The Georgians. Until the outbreak of war, they were a very popular and entertaining act and recorded prolifically for the Parlophone label. The New Georgians, with a different personnel , recorded intermittently for Columbia between 1940 and 1942. The three tracks (where Nat reverts to the pre-war name of The Georgians) and which open this collection were made for Decca in 1945.

Recordings were very thin on the ground over the next dozen years or so, and by the early Fifties Nat was appearing as a solo turn in variety theatres and nightclubs. During the Festival of Britain in 1951 he enjoyed a regular engagement with his band in Battersea Park. The following year, the radio series "'Appy 'Arf 'Our" was revived, and Nat was a regular guest alongside Leon Cortez and spiv comedian Arthur English. Additionally, Nat toured the country with "'Appy 'Arf 'Our" and with top comedian Max Miller. Happily, Nat re-emerged on the jazz scene toward the end of the decade, and began recording again. The first group of recordings by The Georgia Jazz band include trombonist Roy Crimmins, clarinetist Archie Semple and pianist Fred Hunt amongst the personnel. The Strong Arm Men recordings and the final group by The Georgia Jazz Band feature the two Lennies: Felix on piano and Hasting on drums. When It's Sleepy Time Down South showcases Nat in duet with Lennie Felix.

Although Nat hung up his trumpet for good in the 1970s, he carried on singing in his own inimitable style. He guested with several distinguished jazz musicians and combos in Holland and all over the United Kingdom until shortly before his death at the grand old age of ninety in 1998.

JOHN WEBB