Nanette Natal

Lose Control

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Lose Control is singer, arranger, composer, and educator Nanette Natal's fifth album for her Benyo Music label. This latest release culls selections from two of Natal's previous four albums, Wild in Reverie and Hi Fi Baby, recorded in 1982 and 1986, respectively. All but two of the ten selections are Natal-composed originals, and an assorted playlist they do make. Her style utilizes influences covering a wide rhythmic range from Afro-Cuban to bop, swing, and the blues, as well as a couple of ballads by Natal. She is an extraordinary, multifaceted singer with a range like Sarah Vaughan's and an ability to sweep and swoop, stretch the words, and be at home with several types of singing styles. Her scatting skills approach those of the scatting mistress, Ella Fitzgerald. The first cut, "Ice Fire," testifies to this singer's suppleness, imagination, and energy. Buttressed by excellent piano playing from the late bop great Walter Bishop, Jr. and by premiere bassist Todd Coolman, together they undertake an in-depth exploration of the intricacies of Afro-Cuban rhythms. Along the way, Natal accentuates the melodies with matchless, wordless vocalizing. Usually one saves the best for last, but not here, as this cut is one of the highlights of the album. Afro-Cuban rhythm is also the basis for the album's coda and title song "Lose Control." Natal's blues skills take center stage on "Sweet Vanities." Bishop's funky piano and Joel Helleny's trombone are prominent here. The Everley Brothers' hit "Be Bop a Lu La" is further evidence of Natal's arranging skills, as she has a lot of fun with this rhythm & blues classic. Showing supreme confidence in her ability, she has only Andy Potter's drums along with her for "Hi Fi Baby," punctuating Natal's rocking, swinging dexterity. She is backed by the full ensemble with Tony Cimorosi's electric bass and Ritchie Hart's very down-and-dirty guitar, making for an exceptional performance. Elvis Presley is recalled with one of his early big hits, "Blue Suede Shoes." Natal's rendition is wisely different in that it's somewhat more subdued, but it still swings with Chuck Fisher's tenor in attendance. Natal shows that she has the sensitivity and poignancy to get her vocal chords around a ballad in another one of her compositions, "Gone the Midnight Sun." This album is an excellent, entertaining, and recommended release.

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