'Re:generations' And The Genius Of Nat King Cole
During the past several months, Nat King Cole has virtually been in the studio and on the MIC with some of the most talented Hip-hop, Latin, Reggae and Rock artists and producers of the day. Capitol/EMI and King Cole Partners & Productions are proud to announce the March 10, 2009 CD, digital album and vinyl release of an inspired new recording entitled Re:generations. This landmark recording with a cosmopolitan flavor celebrates Cole's musical and cultural contributions as reinterpreted by some of this generation's most creative artists.
RE:GENERATIONS aims to construct a tuneful bridge between generations, cultures and races. Evocative of a sleek and stylish metrolounge where music and the visual arts converge, RE:GENERATIONS honors Nat King Cole's continued cultural influence around the planet, 90 years after his birth.
Executive Produced by Carole Cole and Michaelangelo L'Acqua, the album contains the manifold talents of Cee-Lo, The Roots, will.i.am with Natalie Cole, Cut Chemist, Just Blaze, Nas with Salaam Remi, Souldiggaz with Izza Kizza, Michaelangelo L'Acqua with Bebel Gilberto, Stephen and Damian Marley, Bitter:Sweet, Brazilian Girls, Amp Fiddler and TV On The Radio. RE:GENERATIONS is as much a colorful and culturally-diverse soundscape as it is a 21st Century journey in the lexicon of Nat King Cole's catalog.
In an altogether modern and collaborative approach, many of the world's most pioneering musicians, producers and DJs have joined together to bring each of their distinct styles to 13 of Cole's outstanding recordings for RE:GENERATIONS. Also, several respected Los Angeles visual artists have drawn inspiration from Cole's music, style and cultural influence to create custom artwork for the release.
Says Carole Cole, Nat King Cole's daughter and CEO of King Cole Partners & Productions, "As the curators of our father's music, image and likeness, my sisters and I strive to keep Dad in the mix and as innovative as he was back in the day. With RE:GENERATIONS, we want to musically and visually bridge the so-called generation gap and hopefully create mutual admiration and respect between teens, parents and grands of every culture. Who knows? This project may be a cool catalyst that inspires a new kind of dialogue between the generations. We have no doubts that if Nat were here today, he would embrace all of the artists on this record as well as the ones we were unable to get next to. He would want to produce them and encourage them to leave their own indelible mark on the cultural landscape. And as a bona fide music lover, Dad would buy their music and be a loyal fan."
"As I reflect on the last two years of my life and how RE:GENERATIONS came to be, I can only draw the conclusion that there is a bigger hand at work that brought me to this point in time, " says RE:GENERATIONS Co-Executive Producer, Michaelangelo L'Acqua. "To say that I've created a record would be an understatement. This project was like having a child teaching me unconditional love, devotion and patience that has transformed me forever. Walking alongside Nat King Cole, one of my greatest idols, has inspired me to believe that there are no walls too high to climb and no goals too bright to achieve. This project has allowed me to once again see why I devoted my life to music. For the love it gives me, for the expression I can offer to the world and for the happiness it can bring to those that hear it. It's these truths that I take forth in my life - never to forget them again. These truths will be my song and I will be a richer man in life. Thank you, Nat."
Says Natalie Cole, "I just love, love, love the mix that will.i.am put on 'Straighten Up and Fly Right.' It's so very cool and Dad would get quite the kick from this. What a great feeling it was to have worked with both will and Dad at the same time! It doesn't get much better and this entire album is so amazing."
To launch RE:GENERATIONS, Capitol/EMI has commissioned an original Cole-inspired mural by the gifted international muralist/graffiti artist, Man One, for Capitol's historic Hollywood lot. Assisted by two students from The HeArt Project, a local mentoring program (http://www.theheartproject.org), Man One completed the impressive mural this week which powerfully depicts Nat King Cole as a ubiquitous force who transcends the ages.
"Creating artwork for this project, RE:GENERATIONS, is quite an honor, " says Man One. "I'm flattered to have been selected as one of the artists to give visual life to this new album. Nat King Cole was not only a great musician, but a true role model who challenged the system and fought for what was right and just. How fitting that this album drops precisely at the moment when our country has voted an African American man into office. If it weren't for men like Nat King Cole, this dream may have never become a reality. I hope my artwork does justice to the music of this man as interpreted by some of today's hottest musicians in this project."
Original Cole-inspired visual artworks have been created for the unique package design. Man One, Ritzy Periwinkle, and Gustavo Alberto Garcia Vaca expand the audio concept of RE:GENERATIONS into a vibrant galaxy of new images that engage the senses. Sage, a collage artist and the eldest of Cole's six grandsons, generated the imaginative cover image for the project, which, along with the involvement of other members of the Cole Family, further extends the significance of RE:GENERATIONS.
Visual artist and writer Gustavo Alberto Garcia Vaca says, "As I began to digitally re-visualize classic photographs of Nat while listening to the regenerated music by the various artists on the album, it became clearer to me that Nat's essence shines through all of our musical and visual works - his essence of tranquility, equality, humor, humility and joy."
"It was truly an honor to be invited to share in the King Cole legacy, " say TV On The Radio. "His presence in music is so ubiquitous at this point that we almost take it for granted. Nat King Cole has become such an integral part of the American music fabric it is difficult to imagine a time when such classic songs and such a classic voice did not exist. We suppose that difficulty, that refusal to admit to a finite relevance to human hearts and minds is what inspires us to deem something 'timeless'."
"This was an amazing chance to work with such an incredible vocalist, " says Cut Chemist. "Nat King Cole's voice sounds great with any and every style of music. I've never had this much fun doing a remix before. It was an honor and a pleasure to work with the best."
Says Amp Fiddler, "I thought about making a mix that would be smooth and modern at the same time, knowing how suave and cool Nat was. I had so much fun making this mix and have been a fan for years, so it is an honor for me to be involved."
"We have so much respect and admiration for Nat King Cole and his music that we were honored when we were asked to participate in this project, " says Didi Gutman of Brazilian Girls. "The tune we chose, 'El Choclo, ' comes from a record he did in Spanish that includes rancheras, tangos, ballads and other styles of Latin American music. I have it in my collection. I'm from Argentina and I'm a huge fan of tango music, old and new. I love his version of this classic. I find his vocals extremely charming, and his piano playing delightful."
Says Souldiggaz, "RE:GENERATIONS portrays the mending of two great dimensions of music. It's an example of how dope music never playz out ... and it gives me a chance to do something new and different ... good music inspires, the rest retires."
"As fans, we feel it's an honor to be placed on this record with such a legend whose music is timeless, " adds Izza Kizza of his collaboration with Souldiggaz. "Nat King Cole represents the music that diggs in ya soul, which is our everyday slogan."
RE:GENERATIONS celebrates a universal love of music, the one language that brings us all together and honors the multifaceted and pioneering legacy of Nat King Cole. This inspired congregation of audio and visual art acknowledges the timeless appeal of Cole's catalog. From its invention to its re-invention, from each generation to the next, Cole's music is always fresh and innovative.
"What an honor and a privilege it was for us to work with one of the greatest musicians in jazz history!," say Bitter:Sweet. "So many of the influences in our music come directly out of that era, so it was really exciting for us to be able to look so closely into those precious and dreamy files. It's so important to find ways to introduce the younger generation to the beauty of such classics, and when we can blend the electronic sounds of a band like ours with his warm velvety vocals, horns and string lines, it really turns us on! We picked the song 'More and More of Your Amour' for its playfulness and romanticism. We are all about that! The most fun was being able to exchange a few notes with Nat himself. We hope he would've liked it."
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