Cole had already starred in Sam Fuller's peacenik war epic, China Gate, but 1958's St. Louis Blues would be his first (and final) leading role. The fictionalized biopic of the brilliant blues composer W.C. Handy features Cole and other jazz stars. This soundtrack places the spotlight solely on him, and the results are so pleasing that it may just be his single most underrated session. The songs are fantastic, Cole gets to swing and swagger, and Nelson Riddle's sophisticated, ever-inventive backing charts show why he's widely considered to be one of the greatest vocal arrangers ever.