Get Off the Couch: Tribute to Nat 'King' Cole kicks off jazz series

Get Off the Couch: Tribute to Nat 'King' Cole kicks off jazz series

August 31st, 2015 by Barry Courter and Lisa Denton in Life Entertainment

The Malpass Brothers, Christopher, left, and Tayler, right, are pictured with dad, Chris, who plays bass in the band.

Photo by Lisa Michael

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, when you think of singers who are instantly recognizable from the first note, I have to believe that Nat "King" Cole is near the top of the list. Silky smooth.

Lisa Denton and Barry Courter

Lisa Denton and Barry Courter

Photo by Staff File Photo /Times Free Press.

Barking Legs is starting a Legends of Jazz series with the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra on Thursday, and Cole is the first to be featured. Guitarist/vocalist Wesley Lunsford will be joined by pianist Michael Compton and bassist Will Yager.

LISA DENTON: That soft baritone voice was pretty spectacular, as were his piano skills. I know you're as big a fan of Christmas music as I am, so his version of "The Christmas Song" is probably one of your favorites, too. And there's "Straighten Up and Fly Right," "Mona Lisa" and "Nature Boy." And who could forget "Unforgettable," a 1951 song remade into a 1992 virtual duet with his daughter, Natalie Cole. A beautiful song.

BARRY: Smooth sounds and in a great, intimate room.

That's not the only music in town this week, by any stretch. If you like old-time country music, the kind that sounds like dirt floors and corn growing, The Malpass Brothers are at Nightfall along with Magic Birds. It's UTC Night also. There will be a pep rally with the marching band at 6:30 p.m., and they'll introduce the Mocs football coaches and players just before the Birds take the stage. The Mockingbirds A Capella Singers will also perform at 7:45 p.m., prior to the headliner.

And, as ever, you get all of that entertainment for free.

The Malpass Brothers are one of the Patten Unplugged performances this year in the Patten Performances series at UTC. They are really good.

LISA: Don't forget that this is the final Nightfall concert of the season. Same for Riverfront Nights, which has alternative/pop band Stokeswood. I guess that means summer is over. Wah wah wah.

And Lake Winnie will have its final Jukebox Junction concert with country artist Jana Kramer on Sunday. The day ends with fireworks held over from the rained-out night around the Fourth of July.

BARRY: And Chig Martin and The Alabama Outlaws will be at Rhythm & Brews on Saturday. I have to mention this because it still blows my mind that there could be two Chig Martins in the whole wide world. People who know the Chig that lives here, which is just about everybody in town, understand what I mean. The chances of both of them being in Chattanooga is just freaky.

LISA: Yeah, but there are more Lisa Dentons in town. Bless their hearts.

BARRY: Also, the Shawn Adams Memorial Ultimate Tournament returns to Camp Jordan; the "Ultimate" in this case is Frisbee. Shawn was a great guy who died way too young when he was struck by lightning playing Ultimate. It's cool that his friends remember him this way.

Get event details every Thursday in ChattanoogaNow or online anytime at

Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354. Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.