Freddy Cole passed away on June 27, aged 88. Known for his impeccable sense of swing, he was a pianist and vocalist like his brother, Nat “King” Cole. However, while they shared the same enunciation, Freddy’s voice was huskier and deeper. His talents were on full display right from the start, within the relaxed combo setting of his 1964 debut album.
Waiter, Ask the Man to Play the Blues was recorded in a studio but it sounds ripped out of a smoky barroom. The record closes with his own composition, “I’m All Alone.” Here, he sings of lonely, lovelorn regret – a familiar theme of the blues. However, his vocal interpretation of this familiar trope is refreshingly level-headed, defined by a plain-spoken manner that was part of his signature style.
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