Saturday, February 13, 2010

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Spotlight on Freddy Cole

This week, we've got some clips of pianist and singer Freddy Cole, who will be in St. Louis starting this Wednesday, February 17 through Saturday, February 20 to perform at Jazz at the Bistro.

Though Freddy hasn't quite achieved the same level of fame and commercial success as his brother Nat "King" Cole or his niece Natalie Cole, he's had a successful career in jazz, earning the appreciation of fans and critics alike for playing unpretentious, swinging music in his own way. Up top, you can see and hear an example of his interpretive approach as he performs "Fly Me To The Moon" as a ballad, complete with the rarely heard introduction.

Down below, Cole does Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are" with a fairly energetic bossa nova feel, making explicit what was only implied in the original version.

In addition ot performing standards, Cole also writes some of his own songs, one of which - "I'm Not My Brother, I'm Me" - addresses the central misperception surrounding his career. In the third slot, you can see and hear a 2005 performance of that tune, excerpted from the documentary The Cole Nobody Knows by filmmaker Clint Walker.

Finally, there's an excerpt from the TV program Living St. Louis with a story about Jazz St. Louis' education programs by reporter Ruth Ezell. The piece shows Cole performing for and interacting with kids in the Normandy School District during his last visit to St. Louis a couple of years ago.

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