A Perfect Pitch

Nathaniel Adams Coles, better known as Nat "King" Cole, was born in Alabama, the son of a Baptist minister. He learned to play the organ from his mother, who accompanied his father in church. Originally a keyboard phenom, he later studied classical piano, but it was jazz — and the influence of such key-tickling masters as Earl “Fatha” Hines — that really sent him down the path to becoming a musician. And, of course, it was his voice — that melting swatch of velvet laced with perfect pitch and a melancholy edge — that made his name in the business.

No wonder local actor Leonard Barrett Jr. chose to emulate Cole for his new cabaret show, Unforgettable: The Songs of Nat “King” Cole, Mathis, Marvin and More, a revue of Cole classics spiked with cool numbers by other vocalists inspired by the singer. Barrett will croon tonight beginning at 8 p.m.; the show will continue on Friday nights through February 26 at Lannie's Clocktower Cabaret, 1601 Arapahoe Street in the D&F Tower. Get tickets, $25, at www.lannies.com or call 303-293-0075.
Fridays, 8 p.m. Starts: Jan. 15. Continues through April 23, 2010

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd

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