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Freddy Cole Sings Mr.B

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 3, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Vocalist Freddy Cole often cites the great Billy Eckstine as a major influence on his style and performing the repertoire of the older singer on this wonderful CD has inspired him to some of his best work. With Houston Person augmenting his regular band and Freddy's autumnal baritone, expressive phrasing and insightful way with a lyric out in front, these performers are the perfect choice for these songs forever associated with "Mr. B," Billy Eckstine.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 3, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: HighNote
  • ASIN: B003QTBTQQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,852 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Jazz singer Freddy Cole has spent most of his professional career trying to get out of his older brother's - Nat "King" Cole's - shadow. The problem, of course, is that not only is Nat's shadow exceptionally long and wide, but Freddy sounds quite a bit like him - which, I suspect, is a curse that more than a few singers would be glad to take on. Freddy's warm, mellow baritone, and relaxed, easy phrasing and diction will remind even the most casual listener of Nat. Freddy's voice is not as honeyed as Nat's - there's more smoke and grit in the younger brother's voice - but the family resemblence is obvious. So, if you are one of the millions of people who loves Nat's voice, the odds are pretty good that you're going to like Freddy's.

The late, great Billy Eckstine was Freddy Cole's friend and mentor. The songs on "Freddy Cole Sings Mr B" are songs that Mr Cole has selected to "celebrate" his old friend. As Mr Cole says, "All he shared with me finally sunk in with me years later, so with this album, I thank him." The songs include "Tender is the Night," "I Apologize," "To Be or Not to Be in Love," and of course Mr Eckstine's signature song, "Jelly, Jelly."

The band is first class: pianist John DiMartino, guitarist Randy Napoleon, bassist Elias Bailey and drummer Curtis Boyd - and on seven tracks, the great tenor saxman, Houston Person.

Let me be blunt - this is just flat out lovely stuff - it's the sort of music that you want to listen to with your significant other - when you're in the mood to LISTEN to music, as opposed to doing something else.

The sonics are fine: warm and mellow with Mr Cole's voice front and center, and good instrumental separation.
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Format: Audio CD
Although Freddy Cole's brother Nat is better known, Freddy's collective output is far more impressive. His expressive voice is a national treasure and I'd as soon listen to his piano and combo as anything put out these days, r any other days. Here, Freddy interprets the standards of Billy Eckstein. I must say, as revered as Mr. B himself has been through the years, these are the versions I want playing through my speakers. All in all, this collection is easily up to the high standard that Freddy Cole set for himself long ago, and his effect on the senses and the soul have not diminished a single bit. If anything, this is among his best work, period.
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Smooth and warm what a voice Freddy has. The feeling he puts into each song is fantastic. Each musician puts forth just the right notes to make Freddy's songs perfect. I personally feel that this is one of the best group of musicians that Freddy has ever worked with. Everyone works together very well. Randy, plays with a lot of feeling. Curtis gives the right beat. Elias puts the bottom in and pulls it all together just right.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a tribute to Billy Eckstine, made with love. So say the liner notes, and they are certainly correct. But the c.d. represents even more than that to me:

When I think of the foremost icon of class and dignity, I think of Bobby Short at the Cafe Carlyle. But of course, Mr. Short passed some time ago. And I would contend, based on this c.d., that the mantel has been passed to Freddy Cole.

When you listen to Mr. Cole sing "Portrait" and "No Orchids for My Lady," with the inimitable Houston Person on tenor and the solid John DiMartino on piano and Randy Napoleon on guitar, you can't help but picture the finest, most elegant ball in the finest, most elegant ballroom of your imagination.

But the analogy to Bobby Short isn't exact. To my memory, Mr. Short couldn't knock out the blues quite like Mr. Cole does on "Jelly Jelly." And few singers swing like mad as Freddy does here on "To Be Or Not To Be in Love," my favorite cut on this c.d. And the tongue-in-cheekness of "Ma, He's Makin' Eyes At Me" make it not only hipper but also more hilarious than the famous Eddie Cantor version.

This c.d. earned a well-deserved Grammy nomination for 2010. It didn't win; but really, Freddy Cole deserves more of a lifetime achievement award. Highly recommended. RC
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The first time I heard Freddy Cole was on the "All my Tomorrow" `by Grover Washington. I fell in love immediately. I also saw him live in Savannah, Georgia in November 1997. I now have all of his albums. My problem is I can't pick a favorite. He never disappoints. All of his albums are A plus and soothing to all ears.
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This was my first time listening to Freddy Cole and I could not believe how much he sounds like Nat King Cole. I love his deep sexy voice. I bought it to go with my Dianna Krall and Norah Jones CD's in my CD player's carousel. Very nice combination.
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