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Nat King Cole: Getting Their Kicks

An eclectic group of contemporary artists reinvents Nat “King” Cole classics

Nat King Cole
Bebel Gilberto

Just when you thought the jazz-remix craze had disappeared, out comes RE: Generations (Capitol), a delightful new project on which such contemporary artists as Brazilian Girls, Nas and Just Blaze pay tribute to the incomparable Nat “King” Cole. After high-profile discs like the Verve/Remixed series and Blue Note Revisited that found top-notch electronica and hip-hop producers refurbishing vintage jazz for DJ culture, it’s easy to dismiss RE: Generations as merely jumping on a bandwagon.

Nat “King” Cole’s oldest daughter, Carole Cole, who’s the main producer for the project, sees it differently. “This started from a very creative place,” she says. “I have a lot of feelings about the different [jazz] remixes that have been done. Some have been great and some weren’t as greatly realized.” Cole’s two sons, Sage and Harley, brought up the concept for a Nat “King” Cole remix project two years ago. After the idea “marinated” for a while, Cole brought in associate producer Mark Van Wye and executive producer Michelangelo L’Acqua, who helped her draw up a wish list of contemporary producers for the project. “The three of us have a pretty eclectic appreciation for music, so there were no boundaries really set in terms of genre,” she says.

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