Pianist/vocalist Diana Krall pays tribute to the Nat King Cole Trio on her Impulse! set. In general, the medium and up-tempo tunes work best, particularly such hot ditties as "I'm an Errand Girl for Rhythm," "Frim Fram Sauce," and "Hit That Jive Jack." Krall does not attempt to directly copy Cole much (either pianistically or vocally), although his influence is obviously felt on some of the songs. The slow ballads are actually as reminiscent of Shirley Horn as Cole, particularly the somber "I'm Through With Love" and "If I Had You." Guitarist Russell Malone gets some solo space on many of the songs and joins in on the group vocal of "Hit That Jive Jack," although it is surprising that he had no other opportunities to interact vocally with Krall; a duet could have been delightful. Bassist Paul Keller is fine in support, pianist Benny Green backs Krall's vocal on "If I Had You," and percussionist Steve Kroon is added on one song. Overall, this is a tasteful effort that succeeds.
This album of vintage recordings of Cole Porter songs mixes eight of Porter's own performances of his compositions with renditions that were hits when the songs were new. The basic selection criterion is revealed in the album's title; there is an emphasis placed here on Porter's more risqué and provocative numbers. Songs like "Let's Misbehave" (in a version by Irving Aaronson & His Commanders that was the equivalent of a Top Ten hit in 1928) and "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" (even in this prim rendering by Rudy Vallée) leave nothing to the imagination, of course. "Love for Sale" (by Fred Waring & His Pennsylvanians) is clearly about prostitution, "Miss Otis Regrets" (by Ethel Waters) is a tale of jealousy and murder, and "Find Me a Primitive Man" (by Lee Wiley) is about the attraction of animal lust.
Jack DeSalvo is a guitarist, composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer has been hailed by Wire magazine as “a masterful player”. He has performed and recorded on classical, steel-string, electric, 12-string, slide and alto guitars, cello, banjo, mandolin and mandola.
J. Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only took the rapper from celebrated hitmaker to full-on activist. On KOD, his ruminations on black America and the state of the union are still present, but are less objective reporting and more acquired wisdom from his life as a reluctant superstar. Cole takes rap pundits to task with impassioned, staccato delivery on the title track. And on “Photograph,” he questions the nature of romance in the digital age. KOD's production is minimal throughout, clearing space for Cole's elegantly spun stories of opportunistic friends (“The Cut Off”), modern-day drug culture (“Once an Addict”), and the guilt that success can bring (“FRIENDS”).