An Evening With Freddy Cole
When I read that Freddy Cole would appear at Regattabar, I knew I had to be in the audience. I never had the chance to see his famous older brother, Nat King, because I was too young when he died at a young age but I did not want to miss Freddy and have any regrets about it.
I am happy I attended one of his shows; Freddy may be 83 years young, but his piano playing is still top-notch and his voice lovely.
This show was the night before Mother’s Day, so Freddy filled the set mostly with love songs. His voice may not be big and booming, but the emotion came through regardless and he showed that he is a master of the jazz ballad.
His band is fantastic! Comprised of Randy Napoleon on guitar, Elias Bailey on upright bass, and Quentin Baxter on drums, they supported Freddy fantastically. I was especially impressed with the gypsy jazz style of guitar played by Randy; the sound is distinctive yet hard to describe.
Freddy was full of smiles this evening, performing both his compositions and those of others. I wish I had a set list because many of the songs were not familiar to me. He performed at least one song written by Billy Eckstein, possibly Freddy’s biggest influence.
Judging by the smiles I witnessed, the band had a fantastic time performing for us. They may have focused their eyes on Freddy (not that the following photos specifically show it, other than Quentin), but were much aware of the effect they had on the room.
I thought about using ‘mellow’ to describe this show, but to me that would do it a disservice. The quality of the playing from each member of the quartet combined with Freddy’s lovely voice to create a show that may not have produced much head-bobbing from the audience (although I certainly did more than my share of head-bobbing and toe-tapping) but elicited many enthusiastic smiles and much applause.
Freddy is a legend who is well worth seeing if you have the chance. He does not tour extensively, so you’ll need to watch for any appearances in a city near you.
Ticket courtesy of Regattabar; all opinions are my own.
Posted on May 12, 2015, in concert photos, concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged boston, concert photos, concert review, Elias Bailey, Freddy Cole, jazz, jazz ballads, Quentin Baxter, Randy Napoleon, Regattabar. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.