Cole...Freddy That Is.
August 5, 2008. Posted by Alice Stockton Rossini.
Freddy and me after the gig
The house lights flicker at a low-level dim while the stage lights illuminate the tinting instruments on stage. The crowd cheers as the great Freddie Cole walks to center stage and counts off the band. 1...2...3...4! BAM! The saxophone section hits the opening line with vigor and attitude as Freddy sings the opening lyrics to "It's only a Paper Moon."
On July 23rd, Freddy Cole--Nat King Cole's younger brother--came to William Paterson university to play with some amazing young musicians. Among them was yours truly. It was an honor to play with a cat like Freddy Cole. Freddy reminds young musicians where the music comes from by primarily performing repertoire from the great American Songbook. Freddy's approach to music contains simplicity, but he accomplishes something that musician strives for- expressing his emotions to the audience through music. That kind of connection had the audience tapping their feet and clapping their hands. After the last number, the audience pleaded for one more number. Cole sat down at the piano and closed the concert with a beautiful ballad. The audience roared as Freddy exited the stage to a standing ovation. It was a humbling experience to play in Freddy Cole's band that night. It reminded me, that at the the end of the day, music comes down to one thing, emotion. No matter the complexity of a Bebop line or accuracy of intonation, if emotion is not present, a musician has nothing.
I thank Freddy Cole for the opportunity to join him on the bandstand and am indebted to him for reminding me why I started playing music in the first place...Simply put, it's just really fun!
© 2008 WBGO
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