Freddy Cole Quartet | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Music » Critic's Choice

Freddy Cole Quartet

by

comment

FREDDY COLE QUARTET

Forget chromosome mapping; if you want to prove the power of genetics, just dial up the vocal work of Freddy Cole. Without even trying, he conjures up his legendary big brother, Nat "King" Cole, whenever he opens his mouth. Oh, he might have developed the naturalistic phrasing, the breathy plunge at the end of a lyric line, and even the precise emphasis of his diction by studying Nat's old records. But only nature (as opposed to nurture) could have provided him with those pipes: the same light and reedy timbre, the same intimate resonance, the same dramatic shift between corduroy high notes and crushed-velvet low ones. (Generally Freddy neither ducks nor flaunts his heritage, though he did write a tune called "I'm Not My Brother, I'm Me." Under the circumstances, he probably felt audiences needed a slight reminder.) Like his brother, Freddy accompanies himself on the piano, and if he lacks Nat's insouciant celerity and sparkling technique, his keyboard style is more than serviceable. I can't say this Cole would have attained the same level of success without his family ties, but if you'd never heard his brother, you'd still have to acknowledge the cool of Freddy's crooning and the jazz sensibility that guides every note to its rightful place. Thursday, 9 PM, and next Friday, October 17, 10 PM, Green Dolphin Street, 2200 N. Ashland; 773-395-0066. NEIL TESSER

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Steve Manuta.

Get our free weekly Early Warnings newsletter 💌

It’s Chicago’s essential months-ahead music calendar straight to your inbox.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →