The Performances for the Curious have caused debate and intrigue. The more I see the more I am (mostly) enthralled by them all. This tribute to Nat King Cole is a stellar mix of vocals, stories and tributes to the great man, who we lost far to young in his forties (he smoked a lot).
Atila is our host, a debonaire and handsome man with a slick suit and even sweeter voice. At first I was unsure of just how much of an impersonation would be here. Atila, brushes aside any attempt to sound like Cole and bring his own lush voice. It took a little while to get used to this, but after a few songs you were easily swept away with the swing of it all. As for songs some of the classics were here: Let There Be Love is a famous and often delightful encounter for the singer and solo piano. Unforgettable is perhaps his most iconic work, a soothing ballad which works wonders here with Atila putting his own little inflections into this classic.
Ffresh comes into its own with performances like this. The intimate and laid back setting is perfect for this evening of jazz and ballads. A late start time does result in a much later finish, but I think I can say that they audience did enjoy themselves. Atila’s sincerity also shines through with modest introductions. Even as he went on back stage for the second part a few audience members shushed those who had not settled down and he said “Well, I’m not doing that!”, making for a few laughs. He brings his own style to these Cole songs, a unique voice complementing another unique voice
Nature Boy is another awesome ballad, more recently heard in the film version of Moulin Rouge, perhaps my favourite song here, with a resounding melody and brilliant lyrics. Even a song about Cole against rock and roll was funny and held up a flame for the old-fashioned music that we still can’t seem to get enough of today. The only song that should have been here was Merry Christmas to You, which was ideally expected as an encore, for this festive season. Aside from that there were familiar and more famous works, all attractive in their jazz, thanks to the amazing band of the pianist and double bass player on stage as well.
An impressive night.