In this retrospective tribute, we honour Freddy Cole with a stream of one of his last Australian performances.
Lionel Frederick Cole was born the youngest of Edward and Paulina Nancy Cole’s five children. His three elder brothers, Eddie, Ike and Nat (twelve years Freddy’s senior) were all musicians taught by their mother. Freddy is also an uncle of the late Natalie Cole. Though Freddy was born in Chicago, he is now a native son and international celebrity of Atlanta. He developed a vast repertoire of songs while living in New York and concurrently began to supplement his live performances with television and radio commercial work. His recording career has spanned over sixty-five years
While there are certain unmistakable similarities in timbre to his brother Nat, his voice is raspier, smokier, jazzier even. In truth, his phrasing is far closer to that of Frank Sinatra or Billie Holiday than that of his brother, and his timing swings even more. His vocals – suave, elegant, formidable, sometimes spoken and articulate – make him the most respected lyrical storyteller in jazz. Cole’s career continues to ascend as he has moved into the front ranks of America’s homegrown art form with a style and musical sophistication all his own.
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