Freddy Cole at Birdland - New York City Article
315 W 44th Street, (212) 581-3080
Through Saturday, June 23
I’ve heard Freddy Cole so many times (and will continue to do so) that when he takes the stage at Birdland and sits down at the piano for his opening, “Love is Here to Stay,” I feel like I know absolutely every chord he will play and precisely when he will hit it. And they’re all exactly right, all exactly where they should be, no more, no less. He is neither a minimalist, nor a maximalist, but a perfectionist, nothing is done with any more or less effort than it requires, and a total absence of wasted or unnecessary motion. It’s mellow swing that, on the faster numbers, makes you want to get up and move - and this is in marked contrast to the placid 86-year-old man at the center of it all, who manipulates all of our emotions and reactions while scarcely moving a muscle himself. As usual, Mr. Cole mixes in some of the more obscure but highly worthy numbers from the songbook of his late older brother, the legendary Nat King Cole (“You’re Bringing Out the Dreamer in Me,” “Jet,” “Blame it on My Youth”) along with newer pieces from his latest album (My Mood is You, on High Note). There’s something about Freddy Cole’s music that’s so compelling that every time he plays and sings, you feel like you absolutely have to be there.
Freddy Cole (piano and vocals) with Kris Kaiser (guitar), Elias Bailey (bass), Jay Sawyer (drums), and Special Guest Joel Frahm (tenor saxophone)
Author: Will Friedwald
Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, VANITY FAIR and PLAYBOY magazine and reviews current shows for THE CITIVIEW NEW YORK. He also is the author of nine books, including the award-winning A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU, STARDUST MELODIES, TONY BENNETT: THE GOOD LIFE, LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, and JAZZ SINGING. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.
SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU - NEW REVISED EDITION (Chicago Review Press, May 2018)