Centennial Cole
Review by Willard Manus

To mark the 100th anniversary of Nat "King" Cole's birth, singer/musician Orice Jenkins has put together an album of tunes that Cole made famous. CENTENNIAL COLE features Jenkins singing such classics as "Let There Be Love," "Nature Boy" and "Stardust" (to name but a few).
Jenkins' aim is to reinvigorate the music associated with Cole, make it sound more modern and relevant. To achieve such an end, he called on the Hartford string quartet Cuatro Puntos for help, along with such cutting-edge musicians as djembe-master Alvin Carter, Jr and pianist Zaccai Curtis. Jenkins did all the arrangements, changing back-beats and tempos while remaining "unapologetically Black at all times." He also played piano on two of the cuts, with much flair.

At times funky and swinging, other times soulful and intense, CENTENNIAL COLE not only showcases the work of an important young jazz musician but celebrates the late Nat "King" Cole in a respectful, loving way.