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Aaron Neville

Force Of 'Nature'

AaronAnyone who recalls Aaron Neville's rendition of "Star Dust" on Rob Wasserman's 1989 album "Duets" or Neville's cover of "These Foolish Things" on his own 1993 collection "The Grand Tour" recognizes that the New Orleans singer knows his way around a standard. So Neville's Verve album "Nature Boy: The Standards Album," will please fans of the versatile vocalist who have always longed to hear him wrap his distinctive pipes around more tunes from the great American songbook.

Neville has a long history with some of the songs on the set. He has performed "The Very Thought of You," "Cry Me a River" and "Summertime" since his club days in the Crescent City. The old Nat "King" Cole hit "Nature Boy" was one of his father's favorite songs, while his mother was fond of New Orleans vocalist Annie Laurie's version of "Since I Fell for You."

Neville immediately suggested a reunion with Ronstadt, his partner on the Grammy Award-winning 1989 hit "Don't Know Much," for the new album. "I love singin' with her," he says of Ronstadt, who appears on "The Very Thought of You." "We complement each other. She brings somethin' out of me, and I bring somethin' out of her. She's a belter. She's got a great voice, she can reach these heavy notes, but when she sings with me, she comes down and gets tender. It's like a marriage of the voices."