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Freddy Cole: Music, Maestro, Please!

In 1961, Nat “King” Cole teamed with a quintet led by a pianist of splendiferous taste, style and sensitivity to create Nat King Cole Sings/George Shearing Plays, the finest, most enduring vocal album of Cole’s illustrious career. Now, 46 years later, Nat’s baby brother has followed suit, teaming not with Shearing but with a trio led by a contemporary pianist of equally sublime taste, style and sensitivity, the immensely gifted Bill Charlap. (Charlap’s superb trio-mates, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington, also appeared on Cole’s previous disc, last year’s Tony Bennett tribute Because of You.) Result: the single greatest Freddy Cole album to date.

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