Jazz: Freddy Cole and his Quartet @ Jazz Cafe
Jazz Café at Music Hall is honored to present one of the greatest practitioners of The Great American Songbook, the esteemed vocalist and expressive balladeer, Freddy Cole and his Quartet, for two intimate sets on Friday, January 23rd, 2009, at 8:00 PM and 10:00 PM in the timeless atmosphere of Jazz Café in the heart of the Detroit Entertainment District.
Lionel Frederick Cole was born on October 15, 1931, the youngest of Edward and Paulina Nancy Cole’s five children. His three elder brothers, Eddie, Ike and Nat (twelve years Freddy’s senior) were all musicians. Freddy Cole began playing piano at six, due in no small part to his siblings and the coterie of jazz icons who would visit his family’s home in Chicago. Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton and Freddy’s earliest influence, Billy Eckstein, would be frequent visitors and left an indelible imprint upon the young Cole.
In 1951 Freddy moved to New York City, attending The Julliard School of Music and found himself profoundly influenced by John Lewis, Oscar Peterson and Teddy Wilson. He got a Master’s degree at the New England Conservatory of Music and then spent several months on the road as a member of an Earl Bostic band that also included Johnny Coles and Benny Golson. But it was the countless nights playing piano and singing in clubs and Bistros in New York where Freddy cultivated his reputation as a great interpreter of Jazz and Pop standards delivered in a smoky rasp, with impeccable phrasing and expressiveness, not unlike his late older brother, Nat King Cole did. Freddy Cole makes no apology for bloodlines, though his nuanced vocal style recalls more of a Frank Sinatra or even Billie Holliday, than his brother, Nat.
Freddy Cole’s sophisticated and suave vocal delivery is a perfect instrument for interpreting the Great American Songbook, and along with his trio of Atlanta –based sidemen, which includes, himself, guitarist Randy Napoleon, drummer Curtis Boyd and bassist Elias Bailey, the Quartet never fails to satisfy. The Freddy Cole Quartet regularly tours the US, Europe, the Far East and South America. Freddy has been a recording artist since 1952, when his first single, “The Joke’s On Me”, was released on an obscure Chicago-based label.