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FREDDY COLE
The Dreamer In Me

Live at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola - Jazz at Lincoln Center
Highnote HCD 7198, 55:08.
jazzdepot.com

Freddy Cole, vocals, piano; John di Martino, piano; Jerry Weldon, tenor sax; Randy Napoleon, guitar; Elias Bailey, bass; Curtis Boyd, drums

Review by Steve Koenig

This is my favorite Freddy Cole disc so far. Younger brother to Nat and two other Coles, he grew up in Chicago. Although this disc was cut live in New York, it has a Chicago flavor.

The performance is happily swinging, whether blatantly so, or just via the pacing of his subtle, velvety raspy voice. The quintet is exceptional, both as a jazz group and as accompanists. This is a true jazz club set, starting out well, building to peak, and concluding with a song chosen because the end of the lyric says "Goodbye."

The standout track is "On The Southside of Chicago," with its warm nod to Von Freeman, and a wistful intonation reminiscent of Randy Newman: "I still hear Von Freeman blowing."

The peak is reached with a sly ballad of seduction, "What Are You Afraid Of?" It's nearly spoken- the epitome of skillful phrasing- and most artful seduction of the ear.

The closer, "What Now My Love?" retains its rat-packy association, complete with implied fingersnapping, but there is a delightful moment where, as Carmen MacRae would have, he spits out the "now" in a descending "What now, my love?"

After this, you'll likely be tempted to search for more. Be aware that some of Freddy's records are more pop-oriented, with synth keyboards and production. Listen to sound samples before leaping.


Tracks: I Will Wait For You; I Was Wrong; Send For Me; I'm Making Believe; You're Sensational; Where Can I Go Without You?, More Than Likely; You Bring Out the Dreamer in Me; On the South Side of Chicago; What Are You Afraid Of?; What Now My Love?



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