In the beginning of his career Freddy Cole had to live in the shadow of his legendary older brother, Nat. Like his most famous sibling, Freddy as well as his other lesser known brothers Eddie & Ike all had similar timbres as Nat so each had to develop their own unique approach and style in singing. Freddy has been the most successful follower of big brother Nat King Cole. Born in Chicago Freddy began his piano lessons as an adolescent and as a teen during in post WW2 Chi-Town he would frequent many of the great jazz and blues clubs. In 1951, the 20 year Cole moved to NYC to study at the renowned Julliard School of Music and then moving on to Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music where he obtained his master’s degree. In the mid-1950s Lionel Frederick “Freddy” Cole began his professional career touring with the famous Earl Bostic band. During this time he befriended Billy Eckstine who served as his role model and mentor, lessons he still carries with him. Freddy has a vast knowledge of songs, a wide array of show tunes, blues, jazz standards, the Great American Song Book, pop songs and more, perhaps knowing more songs than any other vocalist. Regardless of his selections one thing is for sure, he delivers them in a warm, silky smooth style uniquely his.

Freddy newest recording is for HighNote Records, a label he first recorded for in 1990 and has amassed 9 outings for them with several other releases for competing labels as well since then, add this to his pre-1990 albums dating back to the 1950s and he has quite a distinguished and plentiful discography. On Singing the Blues, Freddy goes back to his “Windy City” roots offering 11 blues based songs, two of which are duos with Theresa Hightower, a veteran singer and actress who exudes a similar down home charismatic sound ideally suited to sing with Mr. Cole. The soulful saxophonist Harry Allen is an excellent choice to be on this session as is pianist John DiMartino. Rounding out the ensemble are Freddy’s touring band members, Elias Bailey-bass, guitarist Randy Napoleon and Curtis Boyd at the drums. After you hear Singing the Blues, I know you won’t have the blues, instead you’ll be singing the praises of joy for another exquisite recording by the masterful Freddy Cole.

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