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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Jack Ashby



Natalie Cole

Ask a Woman Who Knows

VERVE 065 470-2



  1. I Havenít Got Anything Better to Do
  2. Tell Me All About It
  3. Ask a Woman Who Knows
  4. Itís Crazy
  5. Your Mine You
  6. So Many stars
  7. I Told You So
  8. Soon
  9. Iím glad There is You
  10. Better Than Anything (With Diana Krall)
  11. The Music That Makes Me dance
  12. Calling You
  13. My Baby Just cares for Me
  14. Iíve Got Just About Everything
  15. Tell Me All About It (Remix Edit)

Backings vary from track to track.

This is a quality music album in all respects; Natalie Cole inherited her fatherís clear diction, accurate pitching and wonderful voice timbre. In life she has had her ups and downs, but if this album is anything to go by she is now at her very best. She knows what she needs from a rhythm section and she has the sense to know that without them, she would not be able to perform to her best. The backings are mostly of the jazz quartet, guitar, piano, bass and drums, with a backing orchestra. The orchestral arrangements work well, better than they did on the recent Diana Krall and I would suggest that this be because this is an orchestra put together for the purpose of the album by Rob Mounsey. The rhythm section does not always have the same personnel, but then neither does the orchestra. It appears that each track was optimised as a production, the orchestra ranging from a really swinging big band on Itís Crazy, to lush strings on Youíre Mine. Roy Hargrove plays flugel on Iím Glad There is You and although there is no sleeve credit, I think he also plays on Your Mine You. Diana Krall joins Natalie for the vocal on Better Than Anything, this has to be a welcome addition to any album! When you consider their different backgrounds, there is some similarity in their voices and they sure sound good together.

How nice it was to hear Soon again, Iím sure father Nat used to sing this super George & Ira Gershwin tune, once again the big band adds greatly to the enjoyment.

The arrangement of Iím Glad There is You goes back to the lush strings, but they are ideal for this arrangement of another superb melody, this time from Jimmy Dorsey. I suspect there is a bit more delicious flugel from Roy Hargrove on this one and how enjoyable to hear the verse. I first heard The Music That Makes Me Dance on a Shirley Horn album; Natalieís version is different, but equal in its artistry. My Baby Just Cares for Me is back to swing time and Gary Foster contributes a nice tenor sax solo on a track that has more than a touch of Ella about it. Larry bunker plays vibes on the very swinging Iíve Got Just About Everything, a track that is just full of joy and goods humour.

As I said earlier, this album is sheer quality from start to finish, Natalie is the complete vocalist now and the musical direction by Miss Gail Deadrick outstanding. In the future this album deserves to be in the ĎSongs For Swinging Loversí category and they donít come better than that!


Don Mather


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