Freddy Cole Quintet: Songs for Lovers

  • Post author:
  • Reading time:4 mins read

Freddy Cole Quintet

Songs for Lovers

Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola , NYC, February 9, 2019

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes

Freddy Cole

Freddy Cole and crew brought a smooth-flowing show to Dizzy’s Club for the weekend. Often hailed for his extensive discography, for his critical success among multi-Grammy nominees, and for a diligent pursuit of artistic jazz, Cole has a reputation that certainly precedes him. At 87-years-old, from behind the piano and accompanied by stellar musicians, he showed efficacy, grace, and simplicity. His peaceful, serene delivery of lyrics about love, loss, and everything in between, combined with artfully deliberate phrasing, create sensual fluidity. Each jazz standard melted into the next until an hour had passed and the night had gone. If a viewer had drifted into a trance, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of it.

online pharmacy no prescription

Possibly the most emotionally resonant song of the night was “It’s Only a Paper Moon” (Harold Arlen/E.Y. Harburg/Billy Rose), which truly captured a magical sense of transcendence. Cole’s delivery of “It wouldn’t be make believe if you believed in me” enhanced the heightened sense of romance. He often played with this dreamy quality of love with songs that featured pining lyrics like “Sometimes I’m happy/ Sometimes I’m blue/My disposition depends on you” from “Sometimes I’m Happy” (Vincent Youmans/ Irving Caesar) and “I guess there’s a simple explanation unless I come up with a new sensation,” a slightly adjusted version of “Wonder Why” (Nicholas Brodszky/Sammy Cahn).

It wasn’t just his command of that dreaminess that made his show great; it was the way in which he guided the audience through the emotional arc of his show. For example, following songs about falling in love were a series of songs about remembering what it was like to have fallen in love, such as “Where Can I Go Without You” (Peggy Lee/Victor Young). It was clearly spelled out in the lines, “I’ve found I couldn’t leave my memories behind” and “I’m tired of faces and quaint old places if you can’t be there with me.” He combined this spellbinding sensation with his own love for music in a tasteful finale.

First to demonstrate and to a degree equate the idea of love and his love for music, Cole early on used the number, “As Long as I’m Singin’” (Bobby Darin). He then subtly reprised the emotional tone of the lines “And if this band don’t desert me/then there’s nothing in the world that can hurt me/long as I’m singin’ my song” in his finale, highlighting both the dreaminess and the reminiscent qualities of love.

online pharmacy no prescription

Singing “The popular waltz of the day/it ended as all things/when does the music go away?” from the song, “How Do You Say Auf Wiedersehen?” (Tony Scibetta/Johnny Mercer), he united the disparate threads of his show to conclude his wondrous performance beautifully.

Cole, practically a professor of jazz history, was at the piano, and was aided by an incredible line up of musicians. A favorite bassist of shows past, Elias Bailey handled the jazz solos with unheralded beauty. Saxophonist Joel Frahm and guitarist Sam Raderman also came up with stunning melodies during their solos. Frahm, consistently showcased exceptional foresight with his saxophone, and Raderman threw in a few truly gnarly licks. Keeping it low key, drummer Jay Sawyer kept the beat moving and helped the others shine. As a group, they were terrific.

Chris Struck

Chris Struck's debut novel, Kennig and Gold, is due to be officially published in June 2019. He's written reviews for Cabaret Scenes since August of 2017. For more information about the writer, see