Freddy Cole

Love Makes the Changes

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When jazz vocalist Freddy Cole sings, it's with a built-in groove that's unshakeable, with warm, honeyed tones that wrap the lyrics in velvet and set them down firmly in the pocket. Cole has one great little album here; if you thought it was impossible to produce a modern-day jazz vocal album that's not infused with endless oodles-of-noodles riffing that shows you nothing except the ability of the vocalist to sing everything but the melody, be prepared for greatness. With a small combo led by pianist Cedar Walton and tenor saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr., Cole has a backdrop that never gets in the way of his magic nor does anything that doesn't help the song. Timber-wise, he owes a lot of his phrasing to his older brother, Nat "King" Cole, and Francis Albert Sinatra, but Freddy ultimately remains his own man and that's what makes this album such a success. Ten or 12 stars, at least.

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