Freddy Cole

A Circle of Love

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Fair or unfair, Freddy Cole is destined to be compared to his late brother Nat "King" Cole. When your sibling was among the most famous pop-jazz icons of the 20th century and you sound a lot like him (although Freddy's voice is raspier), how could comparisons not be made? Nonetheless, Freddy Cole is his own man, and the excellent A Circle of Love ends up becoming a very personal statement. Cole, in fact, is quite introspective on familiar songs that range from "Angel Eyes" and "Never Let Me Go" to Luiz Bonfá's "Manhã de Carnaval." Also noteworthy is his version of "Temptation," which was a number one hit for Jo Stafford in 1947. A parody of hillbilly music, Stafford's version was about as goofy as it gets; Capitol, feeling that the parody didn't fit Stafford's image, released it under the pseudonym Cinderella G. Stump. Cole, however, doesn't treat "Temptation" like a novelty song, providing an interpretation that is moody and vulnerable instead of wacky. A Circle of Love was a welcome addition to Cole's catalog.

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