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My Song Of Something by Nanette Natal

It’s been a couple of years since Nanette Natal issued her Is Love Enough? album and it knocked me out. Good news! Natal will have a new CD on the shelves sometime this spring. In the meantime, Benyo Music decided to reissue the singer’s 1980 vinyl LP My Song Of Something digitally re-mastered on CD.

In this reviewer’s opinion, Nanette is a "pure" jazz vocalist in every sense of the word. This reissue offers a rare insight into the transformation of a rock performer to a jazz diva. At one time, author Vernon Joyson, in his volume Fuzz, Acid and Flowers referred to Natal as "An obscure hippie folk singer with some freaky arrangements." The author studied the music of the psychedelic period 1964-72 and Nanette Natal came into jazz from that culture. She found that her fabulous vocal range and flexibility leant itself perfectly to jazz.

Her impressive range is reminiscent of the 1950s phenomenon, Yma Sumac. Natal even echoes Sumac’s ability to duplicate both animalistic and mechanical sounds, delivering some exciting chirps and clicks intermingled with some very sassy scat passages. Frankly, when Benyo Music told me they were reissuing some of Nanette’s early jazz, I didn’t expect to be knocked over by the impact. This is very good jazz indeed. The singer has some fine musicians on her side including Kuni Mikami, the Japanese born pianist who would join Lionel Hampton’s bigband in 1991 and work with Dakota Staton and Elvin Jones. Reedman, Ed Palermo is known for his orchestral interpretations of the compositions of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention.

The vocalist has an ability to lay back and interact with the instrumentalists and especially with her bassists. Her interchanges with bass player, Ernesto Provencher are both intuitive and exciting.

As a songwriter, Natal penned every piece in this collection. Two compositions really stand out. They are the title tune and You’d Think I Would Have Learned By Now. My Song Of Something is a very classy performance. Top marks!

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Nanette Natal
  • CD Title: My Song Of Something
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Reissue Original Release: 1980
  • Record Label: Benyo Music
  • Tracks: Love Signs; My Song Of Something; Let’s Just Fall In Love Again; You’d Think I Would Have Learned By Now; Talkie; I Can Remember; It’s Over.
  • Musicians: Nanette Natal (vocals, kazoo, composer); Kuni Mikami (piano, keyboards); Bob O’Connell (electric bass); Ed Palermo (tenor sax, flute); Ernesto Provencher (acoustic & electric bass); Pat Wehl (drums, percussion).
  • Rating: Five Stars
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