To say that Freddy Cole comes from a distinguished musical family is an understatement. His older brother (by 12 years) was the late, great Nat 'King' Cole, a wonderful singer and pianist who enjoyed great popularity (including tv and film appearances) before he died from lung cancer in 1965, aged just 45. Lionel Frederick Cole, 87, was the youngest of five children. His three elder brothers (Eddie, Ike and Nat) were all musicians; like them, Freddy was taught by their mother. Freddy is also an uncle of the late Natalie Cole, while his son Lionel Cole is a pianist and composer who has worked with such artists as Mariah Carey and Rickie Lee Jones.
At 87, Freddy has enjoyed a long and productive career. And while he never achieved the same level of popularity as his older brother, he long ago formed a richly satisfying sound and style of his own - which has led more than a few jazz critics to declare that he is arguably a superior, more swinging and subtly expressive singer than Nat.
Freddy grew up in Chicago, was based in New York for many years, and his lived in Atlanta, Georgia for the last four decades. While there are certain unmistakable similarities in timbre to his brother Nat, his voice is raspier, smokier, jazzier even. In truth, his phrasing is far closer to that of Frank Sinatra or Billie Holiday than that of his brother, and his timing swings even more. His vocals - suave, elegant, persuasive, sometimes spoken and articulate - make him the most respected lyrical storyteller in jazz. And both onstage and in the studio, Freddy has the taste to choose songs, whether familiar or obscure, that are worth singing.
Don't miss this rare chance to savour the sublime sound of Freddy Cole; they don't make jazz singers like him any more. Joining him will be Sam Raderman (guitar), Elias Bailey (bass) and Quintin Baxtor (drums).