The Freddy Cole Quartet closed out A Place for Jazz’s 2011 season of jazz presentations with a bang last month. It was one of the largest turn-outs in the 25-year history of the organization.
Chicago-born Freddy Cole brought with him his Oscar Peterson and Teddy Wilson-styled piano chops, but unlike his two spiritual mentors, Cole also sings – bringing the whole jazz package to the table.
Churning out two sets of jazz standards, Cole’s sidemen were equal partners in his sparkling musical evening. Hot off the road with worldwide singing sensation Michael Buble, guitarist Randy Napoleon delivered healthy doses of tasteful guitar lines as a rhythm player, as well as a soloist trading licks with Cole.
Bassist Elias Bailey has recently backed jazz singer Rene Marie, both in the studio – for the Max Jazz record label – and on the road, so playing behind Cole was a piece of cake, as he rhythmically anchored the quartet along with spirited drummer Curtis Boyd.
An added feature for A Place for Jazz’s season finale was a photographic display of jazz images by some of Nippertown’s premier jazz photographers: Albert Brooks, Rudy Lu, Don McKever and Andrzej “Andre” Pilarczyk.
This year A Place For Jazz presented a stellar five-concert series highlighted by the great pianist Kenny Barron and his trio. In light of the continuing economic difficulties most people are facing and the resulting ever-dwindling attendance at many of the region’s jazz concerts, it’s truly a blessing that the non-profit APFJ organization has kept to its philosophical guns, charging only $15 a ticket to see any of their top-notch concerts. And if that’s not a bargain, I don’t know what is!
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk