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Freddy Cole: Love Makes the Changes

On singer Freddy Cole’s romantic session, the title could mean the affectionate way he employs his craft, mastering the chord “changes” in different musician settings and branding 10 love tunes with his special imprint. Accompanied by trios or quartets, Cole delivers splendid songs by Michel Legrand, saxophonist Grover Washington (who guests on the album), Oscar Brown Jr., Billy Joel, and others. The trios feature pianist Cedar Walton, bassist George Mraz or David Williams, and drummer Ben Riley or Kenny Washington. On some tunes, the “3-W” trio expands to a quartet featuring saxophonist Eric Alexander, whose mellow tenor saxisms blend especially well with the leader’s vocals on the bossa, “Alone With My Thoughts of You.” Washington’s “The Right to Love” is a pretty melody which Cole masters comfortably while Alexander weaves understated soprano sax accompaniment and solos. As always, Cole is at his classiest best when romancing the word at dreamy tempos.

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