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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



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Freddie Cole

Because of You

Freddie Cole sings Tony Bennett

HighNote HCD 7156

 

 

  1. Getting Some Fun Out of Life
  2. Blame It on My Youth
  3. Because of You
  4. All For You (Nuages)
  5. If I Ruled the World
  6. What are You Afraid Of?
  7. You’re My Thrill
  8. I Got Lost in her arms
  9. The Gentle Rain
  10. If We Never Meet Again

Freddie Cole - Vocals
Houston Person - Tenor
John Di Martino - Piano
Peter Washington - Bass
Kenny Washington - Drums
Steve Kroon - Percussion

Freddie Cole is neither a Tony Bennett or a Nat Cole, but he is a quality singer and his performance on this record is admirable. He has the benefit of a superb rhythm section and with Houston Person around to play some delightful tenor saxophone, the whole album is one long delight.

The selection of tunes is also interesting, the Lady Day classic, Getting Some Fun Out of life, a Burke & Leslie composition gets the album off to a swinging start and the Levant & Heyman tune, Blame it on My Youth continues in a similar groove but at a slower tempo.

Houston Person solos faultlessly throughout, but also demonstrates his ability in an accompanying role to support Freddie’s vocals. Freddie usually plays the piano himself on his gigs and he is a more than competent performer on the instrument, but he frequently uses top jazz pianists on his recording sessions. John Di Martino lives up to the legacy of his predecessors in that dept., Cedar Walton, Hank Jones, Larry Willis and Cyrus Chestnut are not easy guys to follow, but his support in terms of the arrangements and the piano playing help in no small measure to make this a ’high quality’ album.

The sleeve note mentions that bonhomie abounded in the studio for these sessions, it’s the kind of thing that can happen when top session players like Peter & Kenny Washington are present and everyone is enjoying the work and making their contribution.

If I Ruled the World from the musical Pickwick, is not the kind of tune that jazzmen usually head for, but Freddie, Houston and the rhythm section treat it with great sympathy….and swing. There is a touch of Billy Eckstine in What are you Afraid Of.

Unfortunately many of the quality singers of this type of music are no longer with us, though thankfully Tony Bennett is. I am pleased that Freddie Cole is also still around and producing albums of quality songs in the company of some of the best musicians you are likely to hear.

If you are a fan of quality vocal albums, don’t miss this one, it has an excellent sleeve note written by pianist/vocalist Eric Comstock and the sound quality is perfection personified.

Don Mather

 



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