San Francisco Music Preview: NATALIE COLE WITH THE SF SYMPHONY (Davies Hall)

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by Chuck Louden on November 20, 2013

in Theater-San Francisco / Bay Area,Tours


Yes, she’s the daughter of jazz legend Nat “King” Cole, but I’ve been a fan of Natalie Cole’s since she burst on the scene in 1976 with her hit single and album I’ve Got Love on My Mind (her dance song, “Dangerous,” is still on my iPod). She won a whole new set of fans in the 1980s when she remade a dance pop cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac” with a soulful range that established her as a star. Now at 63, she still projects vitality, self-assurance, sincerity and playfulness, as you will NATALIE COLEsee for yourself this Monday, Nov. 25, when the jazz, R&B and pop legend appears for one night only at Davies Hall, accompanied by the San Francisco Symphony.

She’ll be performing from her sultry Natalie Cole en Español album, which debuted as No. 1 on Billboard’s Latin Pop Albums chart, and includes some of her father’s classic covers, including “Acércate Más” by Cuban composer Osvaldo Farrés (performed as a father/daughter digitalized duet) and a big band arrangement of the ever-popular “Bésame Mucho.” The appealing Cole will also provide her trademark showmanship when she offers audience favorites and heartwarming classics (naturally, I don’t have a song list, but is it too much to ask for “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love),” “Inseparable” and “Our Love”?).

After Cole established herself as an artist in her own right in the 1980s, she had a well-known battle with drugs and alcohol, as she chronicled in her autobiography Love Brought Me Back, an intimate story of her turbulent life and how the sustaining power of love helped her come back from drugs and reemerge with a voice more powerful than before. As if her sojourn wasn’t inspiring enough, Cole NATALIE COLE © Universal Music Groupmade a comeback in 1991 when she released her Unforgettable with Love album, most famous for “Unforgettable,” the hit single which magically reunited father and daughter. Not only was her voice intact, she sounded better that ever. Later in 2008, she released Still Unforgettable, which had the songstress singing duets with other famous artists.

Cole continues to think outside of the jukebox, and Natalie Cole en Español proves that she’s willing to explore new genres beyond pop and her now well-known jazz standards. Certainly, she’ll concentrate on her new album this week, adding her unique style to baladas romanticas, backed up by sweeping orchestrations (ideal to be performed with the SF Symphony), but I can’t wait to see which of her standards and breakthrough hits makes it into what is sure to be an “Unforgettable” evening of music with a great orchestra in a great hall. Natalie Cole: The new queen of Latin music. Who would have thought?

photos © Universal Music Group

Natalie Cole with the San Francisco Symphony
Davies Symphony Hall
Monday, November 25 at 8 pm
for tickets, call 415-864-6000 or visit

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