Straighten Up and Fly Right featuring Ramsey Lewis and John Pizzarelli Dec. 15

Chandler Arts Center

Nat King Cole broke the pop barrier with his smoky, smooth vocals, stringing along a huge number of solid hits right after his first “Straighten Up and Fly Right” soared up the charts in 1943. As a singer, he was called “the best friend a song ever had,” but he was essentially a jazz performer at heart. Even those later tracks crafted for the pop charts belie a piano technique, vocal phrasings, and on-the-mark orchestration that are indebted to his early roots in jazz. NEA Jazz Master pianist Ramsey Lewis and guitarist-vocalist John Pizzarelli join forces to pay homage to the titan of 1950s vocal pop, performing favorites including ‘Route 66,’ ‘Mona Lisa,’ ‘Unforgettable,’ and more! They have crafted a tribute from his hits along with those singular tracks of sophisticated cool jazz that have influenced their own careers.