Freddy Cole at Birdland (July 2019) - New York City Article

Freddy Cole at Birdland (July 2019)

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Freddy Cole at Birdland (July 2019)

Jul 7, 2019

Freddy Cole
315 W 44th Street, (212) 581-3080
Through Saturday, July 13

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 80-something-year-old man at the center of it all, who manipulates all of our emotions and reactions while scarcely moving a muscle himself.
Mr. Cole’s latest album, My Mood is You (High Note, 2018) as usual includes one of the more obscure but highly worthy numbers from the songbook of his late older brother, the late and legendary Nat King Cole, and this time it’s “The Lonely One,” by the saxophonist Lenny Hambro, which Nat sang on his classic 1956 jazz album After Midnight. The rest of the numbers, though less familiar, are equally worth, and all contribute to a show that Mr. Cole himself describes as a highly personal “invitation to relaxation.”

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Author: Will Friedwald
Photography by: STEPHEN SOROKOFF

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.

New Books:

THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP VOCAL ALBUMS (Pantheon Books / Random House, November 2017)