Guitarist Freddie King rode to fame in the early '60s with a spate of catchy instrumentals which became instant bandstand fodder for fellow bluesmen and white rock bands alike. Employing a more down-home (thumb and finger picks) approach to the B.B. King single-string style of playing, King enjoyed success on a variety of different record labels. Furthermore, he was one of the first bluesmen to employ a racially integrated group on-stage behind him. Influenced by Eddie Taylor, Jimmy Rogers, and Robert Jr. Lockwood, King went on to influence the likes of Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Lonnie Mack, among many others.
Set of Fremeaux’s definitive Integrale Django Reinhardt collection. Mastered by Daniel Nevers, there are 20 volumes of these, and each volume has 2 CDs – 40 CDs total. Each volume also comes with a fairly thick booklet with discography and notes. And the booklets and inserts have very nice B&W pictures of Django. Une réédition d’exception ! Depuis quelques années maintenant, les éditions Frémeaux ont entrepris la publication d’une intégrale des enregistrements de Django Reinhardt.
This is the Reinhardt mother lode – a six-disc collection of the Gypsy legend's oeuvre stretching from just before to just after World War II. Disc one includes several infectious cuts with vocalist Freddy Taylor, beginning with Stuff Smith's "I'se a Muggin'." Disc six closes with one of Reinhardt and Grappelli's last recording sessions together, which included an unusually dark reading of "Oh Lady Be Good" and a revisitation of the obscure "Bricktop" (the first version appears on disc two). In between are well over 100 marvelous tracks, with sound quality up to Mosaic's (and Michael Cuscuna's) impeccable standards. The booklet contains a learned essay and annotation by Mike Peters, as well as an impressive gallery of photographs, concert posters, and news clippings. Extraordinary, and for Reinhardt's most devoted fans, entirely worth the investment.
Freddy Cole is a marvelous singer, combining consummate ease with a lyric and acute sense of melodic and rhythmic phrasing. Whether it's the lost love of the title song or the reliable romance of Cole Porter's "I Concentrate on You," Cole's warm baritone creates the impression that everything he sings has been made up on the spot, as if every lyric is the current sum of his thoughts and experiences. That conversational art is much in evidence in this mix of Brazilian and jazz tunes, extending to the way Cole interacts with his sidemen and they with him. There are two basic groups here, an all-star Latin septet with arrangements by pianist Arturo O'Farrill and Cole's own working quartet, but there are also several permutations in between. O'Farrill's work is tailor-made to Cole's throaty voice, mixing it with contrasting flute and guitar and complementary trombone timbres, the latter provided by Angel "Papa" Vazquez, just one of several superb soloists. Tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander adds inventive, hard-swinging tenor to "I Concentrate"; Joe Beck's guitars define the delicacy of Jobim's "Sem Voce," sung here in the original Portuguese; and O'Farrill's piano is a dancing delight whenever it comes to the fore.
It's hardly a criticism of Freddy Cole to say that he sounds almost eerily like big brother Nat. They share an unmistakable vocal timbre that can only be attributed to incredibly fortunate genes. This 1997 Fantasy album is one of his best. A swinging collection of standards delivered with elegance, emotion, and a mature confidence. Few singers know their way around an old tune like Cole. An outstanding pianist (again like his brother), Cole bows out on the keyboards on all but one tune here in favor of soulful young phenom Cyrus Chestnut.
When jazz vocalist Freddy Cole sings, it's with a built-in groove that's unshakeable, with warm, honeyed tones that wrap the lyrics in velvet and set them down firmly in the pocket. Cole has one great little album here; if you thought it was impossible to produce a modern-day jazz vocal album that's not infused with endless oodles-of-noodles riffing that shows you nothing except the ability of the vocalist to sing everything but the melody, be prepared for greatness. With a small combo led by pianist Cedar Walton and tenor saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr., Cole has a backdrop that never gets in the way of his magic nor does anything that doesn't help the song. Timber-wise, he owes a lot of his phrasing to his older brother, Nat "King" Cole, and Francis Albert Sinatra, but Freddy ultimately remains his own man and that's what makes this album such a success. Ten or 12 stars, at least.
One can sympathize with Freddie Cole's plight. The younger brother of Nat King Cole, Freddie has spent most of his life in his brother's shadow, even though Nat died in 1965. The problem is that Freddie is also a pianist/vocalist and sometimes performs similar material. In fact, the title of this CD is a bit absurd, since Cole is heard playing in the same type of group that Nat made famous (a trio with guitarist Ed Zad and bassist Eddie Edwards) and his repertoire includes such songs as "Home Fried Potatoes," "To Whom It May Concern," "The Best Man," and a ten-minute, six-song "Nat Cole Medley." Add to that such originals as "He Was the King" and "I'm Not My Brother, I'm Me," and one is not allowed to forget for a moment that Freddie was Nat's brother. Actually, Freddie has an older and raspier voice (which is natural, since he has outlived Nat) and his piano style is more tied to 1950s jazz (such as Red Garland) than to swing. This fairly definitive CD from Freddie Cole does give one a strong sampling of his talents.