Thursday, November 21, 2013

Youthful Blues and Ballads in Cleveland Heights

It occurred to me tonight that I have listened live to Freddy Cole more often than any other world-class performer. While the man gets older — he’s a reported 82 — listening to him never does. He’s wise, self-possessed, and knows how to tell a story through song. While his voice is no longer the pure instrument it once was, he knows how to compensate. And just when you close your eyes and hear echoes of his famous brother Nat King Cole — and not just when he’s crooning “Sweet Lorraine” or “Unforgettable” — he might captivate you up with a song that that reminds you “I’m Not My Brother, I’m Me”.

Freddy Cole says blame it on his youth
Freddy is a consummate storyteller. He paints pictures of life and love with few words, using intonation, innuendo, and impeccable timing. His piano style is of course accomplished, and features lovely block chords. The man can still summon a mean blues as he did tonight with an encore to the encore he appreciatively delivered to a devoted second show audience at Nighttown in Cleveland Heights.

Freddy Cole will be back for two shows tomorrow [Thursday Nov. 21], at 8 and 10PM. So will his tight Grammy-nominated quartet that features Randy Napoleon on guitar
Freddy Cole at Nighttown with guitarist Randy Napoleon.
and Curtis Boyd on drums. Tonight’s bassist was publicized as Elias Bailey but I thought I heard him introduced as Matt Matthews.

Before I wrote this I checked my past posts and was surprised to find that I have mentioned him only once before in The Real Deal. As he might say, “Blame It On My Youth”.


Lara said...


(There should be a button for that.)

Richard said...

I love it when my international readers weigh in!

FYI, I am planning a major website overhaul for The Real Deal. It will certainly include a "like" button! :)