120

Natalie Cole: Ask A Woman Who Knows

By

Sign in to view read count
Natalie Cole: Ask A Woman Who Knows Ask A Woman Who Knows, singer Natalie Cole's latest album, has a rather presumptuous title, doesn't it? But then that’s just it. On this album, Cole absolutely knows what she is doing. Despite the fact that the title track is actually a song about love gone wrong, it makes an apt title for this album, and she’s sure to make waves with its release. The singer, whose distinct voice continues in the tradition set by her father, the late great Nat King Cole, is one of the few artists who can effortlessly swing between the different musical worlds of jazz, R&B, soul and pop.

Since the release of her last album Snowfall On The Sahara in 1999, Cole has completed her move to the Verve Music Group label. Ask A Woman Who Knows is her first release on Verve. The album reunites Cole with producer Tommy LiPuma, with whom she created the Grammy-winning album Unforgettable: With Love in the early nineties. For this album, Cole and LiPuma carefully handpicked a set of songs out of almost one hundred, some well known, others not, to which Cole applied that unique voice, capturing the poignancy of tracks like “I Haven't Got Anything Better To Do” and the joy of others like “Soon” and “You Are Mine You.”

In fact, the album is a stellar compilation of Cole's finesse, prowess and presence. She takes on tracks that have been performed by jazz greats and stamps her own authority on them too. Some, like "So Many Stars" by Sergio Mendes with lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman and "The Music That Makes Me Dance", made popular by Barbra Streisand, may be familiar. Others like "I Haven't Got Anything Better To Do" and the title cut (first recorded by Dinah Washington) are described by her website as “rare gems”. There's delight in her voice as she performs “Soon” and “It's Crazy”, both done big band style.

She duets joyously with label-mate Diana Krall, somewhat overshadowing her on “Better Than Anything”, a song that celebrates the sheer beauty and importance of love. It also proves that when two women get together, they will talk about shopping and shoes (“Say, Diana, is love really better than shopping??”, goes Cole). You can also feel the sincerity in Cole's voice on the Michael Franks track “Tell Me All About It”, and the acute longing in her voice on “Calling You.” Cole is accompanied on her musical journey by piano legend and label-mate Joe Sample, along with Roy Hargrove on flugelhorn, Christian McBride (bass), John Pisano (guitar), Rob Mounsey (keyboards) and Lewis Nash (drums) among others, as well as the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra.

If you love vocal jazz, and are an incurable romantic as well, this is the album for you. Not even the presence of songs like “Ask A Woman Who Knows” and “I Haven't Got Anything Better To Do” will spoil the magic of the album. If anything, they do well to remind the listener that love sometimes has its fair share of casualties. The album is sure to become a favourite for Cole's jazz fans and with good reason too.

Ask the woman who knows.


Track Listing: 1. I Haven't Got Anything Better To Do, 2. Tell Me About It, 3. Ask A Woman Who Knows, 4. It's Crazy , 5. You Are Mine You, 6.So Many Stars, 7. I Told You So, 8. Soon, 9. I'm Glad There Is You, 10. Better Than Anything, 11. The Music That Makes Me Dance, 12. Calling You, 13. My Baby Just Cares For Me

Personnel: Natalie Cole Vocal, Producer Joe Sample Acoustic Piano Rob Mounsey Keyboards, Arranger Russell Malone Guitar Christian McBride Bass Lewis Nash Drums Terry Trotter Acoustic Piano Alan Broadbent Acoustic Piano, Arranger John Pisano Guitar Jeff Hamilton Drums Diana Krall Guest Vocals Roy Hargrove Flugelhorn Gary Foster Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone Tollak Ollestad Harmonica Larry Bunker Vibraphone, Percussion Luisito Quintero Percussion The Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra John Clayton Arranger Tommy LiPuma Producer

Title: Ask A Woman Who Knows | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Verve Music Group


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read The Romeo and Juliet Project CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Crystal Machine CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Love Song" CD/LP/Track Review Love Song
by Tyran Grillo
Published: September 19, 2016
Read "Soldani Dieci Anni" CD/LP/Track Review Soldani Dieci Anni
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 5, 2016
Read "Mass" CD/LP/Track Review Mass
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 2, 2016
Read "Unspoken" CD/LP/Track Review Unspoken
by Andrew Luhn
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "Song of the Free Will" CD/LP/Track Review Song of the Free Will
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 16, 2016
Read "Avant Funk" CD/LP/Track Review Avant Funk
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 26, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.