Shadows - Songs of Nat King Cole Hugh Coltman

Cover Shadows - Songs of Nat King Cole

Album info



Label: Okeh / Sony Music

Genre: Jazz

Subgenre: Vocal Jazz

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)

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  • 1Are You Disenchanted04:24
  • 2What'll I Do04:03
  • 3Pretend04:06
  • 4I Can't Be Bothered02:54
  • 5Annabelle03:34
  • 6Nature Boy04:01
  • 7Walkin'04:20
  • 8Mona Lisa03:54
  • 9Meet Me At No Special Place (And I'll Be There At No Particular Time)03:16
  • 10The Shadows02:52
  • 11I Never Had A Chance03:27
  • 12Smile02:59
  • 13Morning Star03:05
  • Total Runtime46:55

Info for Shadows - Songs of Nat King Cole

„Shadows - Songs of Nat King Cole“, has been an idea brewing in Hugh's mind for a few years. Cole was one of the Jazz artists that Hugh’s mother often played in the family home and his music became part of the soundtrack of Hugh’s formative years before his mother's untimely death when he was 7 years old. After having released and toured two self penned albums distinctly pop on Universal records, Hugh was invited to tour and record with French/Italian Jazz pianist and producer Eric Legnini. This experience of a working Jazz musician gave him the confidence to finally approach Nat King Cole's repertoire.

The idea behind the album was born of Hugh’s intention to shed light upon the darker part of Nat King Cole’s life. That of a black musician, active at a time when segregation was rife and most black artists entered music venues by the service entrance. Indeed Cole himself narrowly escaped a kidnapping in 1956 in Alabama and even though successful, he was clearly not welcome in Beverly Hills where he received threats from the Klu Klux Klan soon after the family’s arrival. Cole stated: 'I can't understand it ... I have not taken part in any protests. Nor have I joined an organisation fighting segregation. Why should they attack me ?”. Hugh’s idea was to reveal these “Shadows”, rarely if ever evident in the choice of material or production of Cole’s work. The choice of songs, production and Hugh’s vocal performances on Shadows, often rooted in his passion for the Blues, give an undertone of tension, even unease.

Notwithstanding Hugh’s original idea, when he came to record the closing title for the album, Morning Star, an ode to a mother’s love, it became clear to him that this project was in fact, much closer to home. Shadows… is Hugh paying homage to his mother, through the work of Nat King Cole.

Hugh Coltman, vocals

Hugh Coltman
joined his first band, the Hoax at 19. They were spotted by legendary producer Mike Vernon (Bowie, Eric Clapton, John Mayall...), lauded by the British music press for their debut album "Sounds like this", and played T.V. sessions on BBC's "Later with Jools Holland" and VH1. A U.S. tour prompting a full-page editorial in Billboard magazine followed. The Hoax toured, ferociously, clocking up nearly 1000 gigs in Europe, the U.S. and Canada during their seven year existence. However, after 4 albums and seven years touring and recording, Hugh left The Hoax.

Hugh moved to Paris directly after the end of the Hoax to embrace the unknown and on his first night met a busker with whom he played on the Metro. From playing sold out venues in October 1999, Hugh threw himself into busking and open mic nights. He was soon noticed by French songwriter/rapper, Spleen (Coco-Rosie, Devendra Benhart) and started the group Heez bus, which gained a formidable live reputation and major label interest before . Hugh had been writing all this time and decided that he wanted to finally go it solo. Hugh continued to play in bars, including original material within the obligatory set of covers and continually working on his

Finally Hugh recorded "Stories From the Safe House" in November 2005, but even then it was not to be. The rough mixes are all that remain from the hard disk meltdown that obliterated the session on the last day of recording. Hugh was distraught and completely stopped singing and writing. However after a year of virtual silence, Because Music, France somehow heard the rough mixes of "Stories From the safe House" and offered Hugh a publishing deal. 10 months later Stories from the safe house v.2 was released in October 2008 on Universal, to great acclaim in French music press (Inrockuptibles, Rolling Stone etc..). Hugh headed toured again, clocking up more than 120 shows and T.V. appearances, including a sold out concert at La Cigale, in Paris.

During this touring schedule, Hugh always was writing. Dictaphone, mobile phone, anything to capture an idea, a melody. He returned to family life (Hugh became a father for the first time during the "Stories.." tour) and started putting together the pieces that would turn into the next solo album Zero Killed, released in October 2011. While being more richly arranged, the album still hangs around Hugh's greatest love : Melody.

Booklet for Shadows - Songs of Nat King Cole

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