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Music Maestro Please

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Album Review

Jazz singer Freddy Cole has accompanied himself on piano for decades, but here he turns that task over to the quite able Bill Charlap on a program of well-worn standards and a handful of lesser-known tunes. Cole's sweet, soulful, robust voice has held him in good stead over the years, and continues to retain that refined, aged yet timeless texture. Charlap plays pretty piano in primarily balladic mode, while the famed Washington rhythm team (bassist Peter and drummer Kenny) is as reliable as any. Quite a few of the compositions are plucked from the '30s, like "If I Love Again," "Once in a While," and "You Leave Me Breathless." There are two midtempo numbers, including a scatted intro on "There Are Such Things," and two voice/piano duets, the downhearted blues "Why Did I Choose You?," and the equally blues-trodden medley "Don't Take Your Love from Me/I Never Had a Chance." Another obscure song, "You Could Hear a Pin Drop," evokes a mood apropos of its title, written by Bobby Cole (no relation). The finale — the old Johnny Mercer novelty "How Do You Say auf Wiedersehn?" — could be Heidi Klum's Project Runway closing theme song. There are no real sparks flying here, just palpable empathy among the supportive backup participants, evidence of a low, slow, steady blue flame that burns forever in everybody's heart, kept quite alive and well by troubadour Cole.This CD was nominated for a Grammy award in 2007 for Best Jazz Vocal Album. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi


Born: 15 October 1931 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The younger brother of Nat King Cole and uncle of Natalie Cole, singer/pianist Freddy Cole sounds a great deal like his celebrated sibling, yet has a personality of his own. Cole, whose vocals tend to be a bit darker and slightly rougher, began playing piano at five or six. He was interested in playing football professionally, but decided to pursue a career in music after a hand injury ended his career as an athlete. He debuted on vinyl in 1952 when he recorded the single "The Joke's on Me" for the...
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Music Maestro Please, Freddy Cole
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