Off on A Cashmere Cloud

Before he was a pop star Nat King Cole was a jazz artist, and a big new boxed set shows how good he really was

Even though this is a state occasion, let us, for the present, forswear all the obligatory cries of acclamation. None of this "the king lives!" stuff. And no "once and future king" either. They may be true, but they sound a little stiff somehow, something his music never was. So -- taking a cue from the music itself -- let's just salute the memory of Nat King Cole with one bright "flash!," a loud "bam!" and a reverent but resounding "alakazam!"

You may recognize that little refrain from a 1950 killer hit of Cole's called Orange Colored Sky. If not, it...

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