Nature Boy

02021-09-08 | Uncategorized | 6 comments

On The Ethan Hein Blog I found a nice list of recordings of Nature Boy.

There was a boy, a very strange enchanted boy. His name was eden ahbez, he was a hippie decades before that was a common thing to be, and he wrote “Nature Boy“, which Nat King Cole turned into a major hit. The tune has become a jazz and pop standard, and has been recorded uncountably many times.

I am listening to the version David Bowie recorded with Massive Attack, which I hadn’t heard before. It’s apparently from the movie Moulin Rouge.

My favorite version of Nature Boy isn’t on the list, however. It’s from the 1999 album Fascinoma by Jon Hassell. This version begins with solo trumpet – the softest trumpet sound you will ever hear – and then Rono Majumdar joins the trumpet with his bamboo flute. Check out the album Hollow Bamboo by Rono Majumdar, from 2000, as it is also excellent.

I remember talking to my friend CR about the song and she had a great story about meeting eden ahbez, the Nature Boy of the song. I’ll ask her about that.


  1. Antony

    Are you familiar with the James Morrison version— also very good.

    • ottmar

      At first I looked for Jim Morrison, then I noticed that the name was actually James and discovered that there is a Singer/Songwriter from the UK and a trumpet player from Australia by that name. Listened to the trumpet player’s version. It’s certainly nice, as is George Benson’s, but to me it doesn’t stand out. They are performances of a Jazz standard. Jon Hassell’s version, on the other hand, is very haunting and original, I find. Thanks for letting me know about James Morrison!

  2. Steve

    I love Fascinoma by Jon Hassell.

  3. Anne

    Fantastic – tks for sharing! ( totally agree re jh )


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