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Ask a Woman Who Knows

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Album Review

Natalie Cole is a fascinating vocalist who represents more than 30 years of worldwide critical acclaim, tremendous commercial success, the continuation of a family legacy, and consummate artistry. Her new dreams, ideas, and efforts unfold on Ask a Woman Who Knows, her debut for the Verve recording label and first recording in three years. Ms. Cole's musical choices include songs that depict the various aspects of love — its joy, its sorrow, its loneliness, and its consolation. Included are two of Dinah Washington's gems — "I Haven't Got Anything Better to Do" and the title track, "Ask a Woman Who Knows" — both songs about love gone wrong. Cole changes the tone of the set with great scatting on the up-tempo swinger "My Baby Just Cares for Me"; "It's Crazy," the hit written by her father, Nat King Cole; and the soulful "I'm Glad There Is You," which features Roy Hargrove on flugelhorn. Natalie Cole sings her engaging musical stories with priceless, nuanced phrasing accompanied by a distinguished core quintet of Joe Sample, Russell Malone, Christian McBride, Lewis Nash, and Rob Mounsey. The added dimension of Natalie Cole performing all background vocals and the backing of the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra on two songs makes the recording extra special. Overall, this is an exceptional recording that re-teams her with Tommy LiPuma, the producer of her biggest hit, Unforgettable: With Love. The listener who has followed her career will hear and understand that the consistency of all her exploring has been to arrive at a higher level of musical accomplishment through support from great musicians and a positive musical family.


Born: 06 February 1950 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The daughter of jazz and pop legend Nat King Cole, Natalie Cole forged a successful career in three phases. She began in the '70s as a soul-rooted artist, had success in the '80s with pop-oriented R&B material, and then followed in the footsteps of her father with traditional pop as her foundation from the '90s through the early 2010s. From 1976 through 2009, she won nine Grammy awards, including Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female ("This Will Be," 1976), Album of the Year (Unforgettable...With Love,...
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Ask a Woman Who Knows, Natalie Cole
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