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Freddy Cole at the Dirty Dog, 3 Things To Know

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Freddy Cole hasn't gotten quite the same spotlight over the years as his brother, Nat King Cole, or his niece, Natalie Cole. But rest assured he's taking good care of the "family business."

The Atlanta resident is still active and interested, playing live and planning new music. This on top of a career that began 65 years ago with the release of his first album, "The Joke's On Me." Since then Cole -- who studied at the Julliard School of Music and then the New England Conservatory of Music -- has taken good care of the "family business," with his own catalog of albums, a Grammy Award nomination for 2010's "Freddy Cole Sings Mr. B" and a 2007 induction into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

At 85 Cole doesn't get out quite as much as he used to. But rest assured that whenever he performs, it's nearly as "Unforgettable" as the rest of his family's ouvre...

With both Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole gone, Freddy Cole feels a responsibility to carry the torch, both for his family and for the vocal jazz idiom. "I like to see it continue, and every chance I get to talk and deal with younger acts or younger people I try to throw a word in here or there to let them know how important this music was -- and still is," Cole says by phone from his home in Atlanta. "You've got some kids who are coming along, still doing it. I heard a song yesterday on the radio; I didn't know who it was, but I stopped the car and I listened and it was good. So, yeah, I think it's very important that we try to keep the music going."

Cole says he doesn't feel like it's been 65 years since his first album release. "I feel blessed, and I'm lucky," he notes. I just love the music. I love performing the music, and I will until, like the guy says, they throw dirt over your head. I'll be a dirty old man 'til I'm a dead man."

Cole is getting to work on a new album, his first since "Singing The Blues" in 2014. "I'm just getting started on trying to pick new songs, so hopefully we'll start to record by mid-July," he says. "I went to a few of my friends and just asked them about songs they'd like to hear, some of their favorites. I want it to be a little different. I don't want it to be the same old same-old. I don't want it to be all romantic. I don't want it to be all pop. I'm trying to get a consensus of which direction I should on in."

Freddy Cole

Wednesday-Saturday, March 1-4.

The Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe, 97 Kercheval, Grosse Pointe Farms.

Tickets are $40.

Call 313-882-5299 or visit dirtydogjazz.com.

Web Site: www.dirtydogjazz.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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