Freddy Cole has finally recorded his own tribute to his famous older brother Nat "King"Cole and it's a lovely, heartfelt one at that. Freddy's warm voice and masterful presentation of the material here is a pure delight throughout.
The program features a wide ranging set of tunes from Nat King Cole's career ranging from "It's Only A Paper Moon", a number in Cole's repertoire in his early days, to "Mona Lisa" which was a huge hit for him when he had made the transition to popular balladeer. Other highlights include "Easy To Remember", "Sweet Lorraine" , the Latin tinged "Jet" and the title track "He Was The King" which Freddy composed especially for this project.
Freddy Cole has many of the same musicians on this recording that he has worked with in recent years. John Di Martino on piano, Randy Napoleon on guitar, bassist Elias Bailey and drummer Quentin Baxter. And some special guests show up on several tracks to add their instrumental artistry to the mix as well. Houston Person and Harry Allen on tenor saxophones, Joe Magnarelli on trumpet and Josh Brown on trombone.
Freddy Cole spent a number of years early in his career in the shadow of his more famous brother, but through the decades he carved out his own place in the jazz world and is a highly respected vocalist and performer in the jazz community. Since the 1990's he has issued a new album nearly every year which is quite an accomplishment. "He Was The King" honoring the legacy of Nat Cole is another fine addition to Freddy Cole's catalogue.