+ Cedar Walton, George Mraz, Herman Burney,Curtis
Boyd, Jerry Byrd, Lew Soloff u.a.
Sound:stereo & multichannel (Hybrid)
Zuerst strebte der jüngere Bruder von Nat King Cole und Onkel von Natalie Cole eine Karriere als Football-Profi an. Doch eine Handverletzung zwang ihn, die sportliche Laufbahn zu beenden. Was lag näher, als ein musikalisches Engagement? Bereits 1952 landete Freddy Cole mit dem jazzigen "The Joke’s On Me" einen ersten Hit. Nach einer längeren Pause legt der Sänder und Pianist nun mit Merry Go Round ein lange überfälliges, neues Album vor. Begleitet von einer vorzüglichen Band (u. a. mit Pianist Cedar Walton, Bassist George Mraz, Gitarrist Jerry Byrd, Trompeter Lew Soloff und Saxofonist Lou Marini) brilliert Freddy Cole dabei als lässig-souveräner Entertainer und facettenreicher Sänger, der sich mühelos im Terrain zwischen coolem Swing und jazzigem Pop bewegt.
"As both pianist and singer, Freddy Cole has an impeccable sense of swing, like his brother. At the same time his articulation is more colloquial, street-smart and his phrasing (on ballads in particular) has a contemporary bite. He is, overall, the most maturely expressive male jazz singer of his generation, if not the best alive." —David Hajdu, The New York Times
Freddy Cole’s new release Merry-Go-Round is a remarkable collection of eleven modern pop masterpieces. Supported by a solid cast of musicians, including pianist / arranger Cedar Walton and a stellar horn section, Cole proves himself to be a unique stylist of jazz and American popular song.
Cole gives every song on his Telarc debut a smooth reading. He opens with a robust version of William Eaton’s hit "Watching You, Watching Me" and follows with "It’s Impossible," both featuring Cedar Walton’s inspired arrangements. Most of the selections here are either new, offbeat, or rescued from hiding, and Cole lights up the album with the title track, Herb Martin and Bobby Scott’s never-before-recorded "Merry-Go- Round."
Cole sings with focused intensity and trademark precision on the Mercer-Schertzinger classic "I Remember You," a tune closely associated with his late brother, Nat, and cruises through Peggy Lee’s "Take a Little Time to Smile" with swinging drive and imaginative improvising. The medley "I Realize Now / I Miss You So" extends Freddy’s tradition of reviving unjustly overlooked gems from his brother’s repertoire. His own piano highlights the under-recorded "You’re Sensational," written by Cole Porter (for Frank Sinatra in High Society).
Merry-Go-Round features a solid cast of New York’s finest musicians, including pianist Cedar Walton, bassist George Mraz, saxophonist Eric Alexander and trumpeter Lew Soloff. Check out the tight, fluid interaction between the velvet-toned Cole and his superb instrumentalists on Alfred Newman’s "Through a Long and Sleepless Night" and Jerome Kern’s "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes." Ace producer Todd Barkan and Cole are a long-standing team.
Born in Chicago in 1931, singer / pianist Freddy Cole sounds like his iconically famous brother, but has a style all his own. The youngest of five children, Freddy was initially influenced by his older brothers Eddie, Ike, and Nat. He started playing at age six and has been recording since he was 21 years old, starting his professional career in 1952. Cole studied at Julliard in New York and later earned a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music.
A resident of Atlanta since 1972, Cole currently leads a trio with guitarist Jerry Byrd and bassist Herman Burney that tours throughout Europe, the Far East, and South America, in addition to performing at major US jazz festivals and nightclubs.
S. Richter in Stereo 10 / 00: "Geschmackvoll gewähltes
Programm aus selten gespielten Popstücken. Und eine
Platte, auf der Cole Porters "You Are Sensational" ge-
covert wird, hat einen Platz im Regal verdient."