Holly Cole

The Best of Holly Cole

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As leader of the Holly Cole Trio, the smoky-voiced jazz chanteuse has created an impressive catalog over the last decade with her longtime cohorts Aaron Davis (piano) and David Piltch (string bass), seamlessly mixing blues, pop, and jazz. This collection gathers tunes which allow the sultry singer to stand out above sparse yet often playful arrangements. The first three tracks epitomize the diversity of her approach. On "Trust in Me," she plays it subtle and sly, asking her lover to "trust in me," sometimes singing a few bars a capella. She shows her wares as a torch singer on "Calling You," while a spry arrangement of Lyle Lovett's "God Will" offers a glimpse of her blues persona. Part of Cole's charm comes from the way she interacts with her mates; the first verse of "I Can See Clearly Now" is sung richly over Piltch's plucky solo bass before Davis' piano and a gentle string section glide in. Many people were puzzled that a singer who excels at jazz standards would tackle the Tom Waits catalog, but some of the best tracks from the Waits tribute Temptation show up here as well. "Jersey Girl" is particularly impressive, with Cole's low voice rising above a chorus of "sha-la"s and Davis and Piltch's simple percussive magic.

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