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Rio de Janeiro Blue by Freddy Cole

Nat King Cole is incomparable. His feathery swinging touch and clean articulation has influenced such diverse pianists as Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans and Ahmad Jamal. His soft-as-silk voice took him away from the keyboard and brought us both classics, "The Christmas Song" and "Lush Life," and throwaway trifles. Remember "Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer"? Younger brother Freddy Cole took up piano in childhood and made his first record in the fifties. If he were ever in Nat's shadow Cole is well out from under now. While he can't help his voice being uncanny like Nat's, his chordal piano style is very much his own. Being less famous, he also appears to be less subject to commercial pressure.

The mood of this CD is relaxation with an emphasis on ballads. Cole appears with his working quartet and other collaborators, including a wonderful Latin septet. Among the four quartet tracks are an obscure reflective ballad, "Words Can't Describe" and "I Concentrate on You." The latter displays altered keyboard harmony by Cole and some heavy blowing by guest Eric Alexander on tenor. Cole stands up and sings on the septet cuts. These include the title song and "Invitation" which showcases Papo Vasquez and his Bill Harris flavored bone. Arturo O'Farrill serves up the charts and the most sensitive piano accompaniment any singer could expect. He is also featured with George Mraz and drummer Steve Barrios backing Cole on "Dilirio" and "Yellow Days." "Yellow Days", which has been sung by Tony Bennett and Sinatra, is a seldom heard tune that just sticks with you. You'll hum it over and over. There is also an intimate gem on the album - Freddy Cole's vocal in Portuguese on Jobim's "Sem Voce" backed only by Joe Beck on guitar.

A great CD for those lazy hazy crazy days of summer. So bring it to the picnic, pool or beach and ENJOY!

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Freddy Cole
  • CD Title: Rio de Janeiro Blue
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2001
  • Record Label: Telarc Jazz
  • Rating: Five Stars
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