Jazz, swing, and the blues are the cornerstone to pretty much all our modern music. It has certainly morphed from its original roots, but rock, hip-hop, pop, and all their sub-genres can attribute some part of their style to the smoke filled lounges of the 20s and 30s. However, while today’s music has the indistinguishable jazz flare, the CD Re: Generations, which will be released on March 10, 2009, presents an obvious mix of both the original style and the modern, creating a tribute to one of the most brilliant artists of his time, Nat King Cole.
Born Nathaniel Adams Cole, this well-known jazz singer has enchanted many over the past 90 years. You’d probably recognize him from his performance of “Unforgettable,” “When I Fall in Love,” and “Straighten Up and Fly Right,” but Cole was a hard-fighting innovator. Even during the Civil Rights era, he hosted his own TV show, “The Nat King Cole Show” and refused to perform in segregated venues.
His music and the freedom and rights of African Americans have each come a long way. And Re-Generations is a tribute to both with artists such as The Roots, Cee-Lo, will.i.am, Natalie Cole, Nas, and many more.
“With Re: Generations, we want to musically and visually bridge the so-called generation gap,” says Carole Cole, Nat King Cole's daughter and CEO of King Cole Partners & Productions. “Who knows? This project may be a cool catalyst that inspires a new kind of dialogue between the generations.”
In my opinion, this CD does just that. Many of the songs have ingeniously mixed both styles — the smooth, cool jazz with clean, up-beat hip-hop. But you don’t necessarily have to like either to enjoy this. With the unique mix of jazz piano, big band solos, and rhythmic bass and drums, Re: Generations has almost created a genre in itself.