Itâ€™s a bit late in the day, but I didnâ€™t want to ignore Nat Coleâ€™s birthday. If he were still among us, he would be 92. He died in 1965 a month short of his 46th birthday. The world remembers him as one of the great popular singers. Pianists revere him. Donâ€™t ignore his singing herethat would be hard to dobut listen to his playing following the vocal and see if you detect some of what helped form Ahmad Jamal, one of countless pianists inspired by Cole.
Doug’s most recent book is a novel,Poodie James. Previously, he published Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond. He is also the author of Jazz Matters: Reflections on the Music and Some of its Makers. He contributed to The Oxford Companion to Jazz and co-edited Journalism Ethics: Why Change? He is at work on another novel in which, as in Poodie James, music is incidental.