Although Ori Dagan‘s “Sting of the Cactus” appears on his album of Nat King Cole homages (entitled Nathaniel: A Tribute to Nat King Cole), it’s not a tune Cole himself ever recorded… but it sounds like it sure could be. Where Cole was a bit more crooner/pop-friendly, Dagan’s scat- and jazz-driven melodies blend with his inspiration’s sounds to land somewhere in the accessible and pretty darn delightful realm.
“Sting of the Cactus” is one of Dagan’s originals featured among covers and other renditions on his Cole tribute. Though, admittedly, I’m less of a jazz aficionado than many, it’s Dagan’s playful working of his arrangement and lyrics that keeps the ear engagemed and the listener tapping along. Dagan, himself, is quite a decorated artist, beating out The Weeknd, Peter Katz and others to claim the title of NOW magazine’s “Best Male Vocals” and snagging “Best Jazz Vocals” at the 2015 Toronto Independent Music Awards.
Nathaniel, which was funded successfully via a PledgeMusic campaign, is what Dagan calls a “visual album,” that is, tracks accompanied by videos. The video for “Sting of the Cactus” is perhaps one of the most fun few minutes you can spend listening to music online. Hearkening back to stop-motion animation classics, the song highlights musician life in its lyrics. While the subject matter isn’t always completely positive, it’s something that Cole could have probably related to… and definitely sung about.
Check out the charming video for Ori Dagan’s “Sting of the Cactus” below!