Freddy Cole

Because of You

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    8
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Freddy Cole's voice may be a bit worn, but it is still expressive and quite effective on this CD, a tribute to Tony Bennett. Rather than re-create Bennett's greatest hits, Cole sings a few of Bennett's favorite songs in a typically straightforward manner. Houston Person's tenor is a major asset on six of the ten selections (he always seems to work perfectly with singers) and the rhythm section, which includes the excellent pianist John Di Martino, is top-notch. Since Tony Bennett considers Nat King Cole (Freddy's brother) one of his main influences, this set makes particular sense. "Blame It on My Youth," a vocal version of Django Reinhardt's "Nuages," and a touching rendition of "The Gentle Rain" are among the highlights of one of Freddy Cole's finest records of the 21st century.

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