Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Natalie Cole: Still Unforgettable

In the press release for Still Unforgettable, Natalie Cole claims she waited 17 years to create a follow-up to 1991’s massively popular, multiple Grammy-winning Unforgettable … With Love, noting that, “I wasn’t in a hurry to make this kind of a record right away.” Really? She seems to have forgotten 1996’s Stardust, which not only delved further into her late father’s songbook but offered up a second “duet” with dad on “When I Fall in Love.” She’s also conveniently forgotten 1993’s Take a Look and 2002’s Ask a Woman Who Knows, both heavy with jazz standards. Nor is Still Unforgettable truly the opposing bookend to her ’91 release, since it moves well beyond the Nat “King” Cole oeuvre to salute tunes associated with Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Judy Garland and Jack Jones.

Cole opens with yet another father-daughter pairing, this time built around Nat’s 1951 recording of “Walkin’ My Baby Back Home.” Though it again demonstrates how superbly matched their voices are, it fails to fully satisfy. It’s as if, unlike its seamless predecessors, the Scotch tape that binds old and new is showing. Also disappointing is Cole’s cover of Lee’s late-’40s smash “Why Don’t You Do Right.” Compared to the biting Lee version, presented by a cynical, money-hungry woman who’s not to be messed with, Cole’s seems toothlessly insipid.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published