Monday, April 18, 2016

Freddy Cole - He Was The King (2016)

Label: HighNote

Singer and pianist Freddy Cole has come full circle. One of his early recordings contained a well-penned response to what must have been a deluge of comparisons to his legendary brother, Nat “King” Cole. I’m Not My Brother, I’m Me was a heartfelt and witty finger in the eye to the wags who simply couldn’t separate the two. It set the tone for Freddy’s distinguished career of establishing his own voice in what must have been the most daunting of challenges.
For at least a couple of decades, Cole the younger has been warbling his way through a songbook that Nat would have applauded but likely avoided. His choices are tasteful, if not earth-shattering. With He Was the King, Freddy has buried the sibling rivalry axe.  He’s gone so far as to take on a few of Nat’s signatures, “Mona Lisa,” “It’s Only a Paper Moon” and “Sweet Lorraine.” Fair enough, but kudos to Cole on the other choices that only a die-hard Nat devotee may be able to connect.  With Natalie gone and Freddy aging, this may be the last of the Cole legacy.

01. Easy To RemeMber (6:01)
02. Exactly Like You (4:30)
03. Funny (Not Much) (6:05)
04. That’s My Girl (3:06)
05. Maybe It’s Because I Love You Too Much (5:24)
06. The Best Man (3:13)
07. Sweet Lorraine (4:33)
08. Love Is The Thing (5:20)
09. Jet (4:08)
10. Mona Lisa (2:29)
11. It’s Only A Paper Moon (4:03)
12. He Was The King (3:16) 

FREDDY COLE, vocals, piano
Houston Person, tenor saxophone
John di Martino, piano
Randy Napoleon, guitar
Elias Bailey, bass
Quentin Baxter, drums
Harry Allen, tenor sax
Joe Magnarelli, trumpet
Josh Brown, trombone