In a previous post I talked about the shock of finding a recording of Nat “King” Cole singing “L-O-V-E” in Japanese. A friend of mine from Tokyo, Shimada-San, recently sent me the other item I had been searching for—a recording of Nat singing “Autumn Leaves” in Japanese. Thank you Shimada-San!
The interesting difference between the Japanese versions of “L-O-V-E” and “Autumn Leaves” is that “Autumn Leaves” uses a different instrumental background than the original English-language recording. The original contains an orchestral horn solo in the middle of the song; in the Japanese version that is replaced with a guitar solo. I’m guessing this is to appeal to Japanese tastes, as the guitar emulates a shamisen, a Japanese stringed instrument similar to a guitar.
If you’re interested you can listen to a 30-second sample. According to my research, this is the only other recording of Nat Cole singing in Japanese. Please let me know if I’m wrong!