When I was younger and listening to my parent’s records of Nat King Cole, I heard only the silken tones of his voice and the precision of his articulation.
That kind of precision was an especially big deal for my mother who along with being a school teacher and piano teacher also vocal coached and encouraged her students to respect pronunciation.
When I got older and learned more about the struggles he had and overcame in the moments of wondrous performance, I came to better understand the meaning of the phrase, ‘grace under pressure’.
My parents had that – that generation just had to.
Nat King Cole had that and if anyone had to he did.
The artistry is the grace in defiance and beauty in the beautiful, touching, and memorable moments of song.