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Rio de Janeiro Blue

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Album Review

Freddy Cole's second Telarc release features him in a variety of jazz and Latin settings, with a stellar cast of musicians — most notably pianist/arranger Arturo O'Farrill. Cole plays very capable piano on five of the 11 tracks and arranges six of them. Gravel-voiced and relentlessly laid-back, the younger brother of Nat "King" Cole is true to form on this romantic collection of songs, most of which aren't too well known, with the exception of "Invitation" and "I Concentrate on You." The nicest surprise comes on Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Sem Voce," which Cole sings in the original Portuguese; Joe Beck plays the changes on alto guitar and solos beautifully on acoustic. Cole's regular band, with guitarist Jerry Byrd, bassist Herman Burney, and drummer Curtis Boyd, splits the program with a larger Latin ensemble that includes the likes of O'Farrill, "Papo" Vazquez on trombone, Lou Marini on sax and flute, and Steve Berrios on drums and Latin percussion. Even though Cole's voice is not "pretty" in a conventional sense, this definitely works as turn-the-lights-down-low music. O'Farrill's choice of Fender Rhodes electric piano on the first and last tracks is an inspired touch. ~ David R. Adler, Rovi


Born: October 15, 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...
Full Bio
Rio de Janeiro Blue, Freddy Cole
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