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Natalie Cole: Cole en Espanol

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By 1958, Nat King Cole’s global popularity had grown so massive that Capitol encouraged him to record an album entirely in Spanish. Despite his painfully awkward, phonetically learned vocals, Cole Español proved an enormous success, so much so that two well-intentioned but equally clunky follow-ups, 1959’s A Mis Amigos and 1962’s More Cole Español, were released.

Now daughter Natalie, who has built a substantial second career trying to recapture the pop-jazz zeitgeist of her late father’s era, takes her own viaje, with far more impressive results. Her appreciation for the language is genuine, allowing for a much deeper emotional connection to the lyrics. And, at 63, she sounds terrific, her rock- and soul-tinged vivacity barely diminished.

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