Rick Keene Music Scene – Holly Cole; Like a Fine Wine

Some things improve with age.

Holly Cole has always been great. She has always been a throwback to the glory days of female jazz singers. With her vocal range diving deep within the depths of notes and rising to the surface – Cole has always ‘nailed it.’ Last night as part of the Montreal Jazz Festival, Holly nailed it once more.

Trust in Me, My Foolish Heart and even Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues were delivered by Holly in an aw shucks forceful type of way. Perhaps from the viewpoint of a woman (or person) approaching their ‘senior discount age’ – Cole knows she has nothing left to prove with an ego. At 55, it is time to allow the talent to talk exclusively. Who needs attitude? It is that time in one’s life to enjoy every moment. Holy Cole seemingly is in that mindset on stage.

Cole started the night out with two musicians forming a trio. A typical approach by Cole to inject some ‘real’ jazz into the crowd. Two minutes in and the audience were transported to the 20’s and 30’s and a time when Jazz was to America what Pop was during the 1980s. Cole on vocals, David Piltch on bass and Aaron Davies on piano. A menage a trois with no limits. A menage a trois open to voyeurism with an eager audience at their feet.

Down Down Down, My Baby Just Cares for Me and a cool rendition of I Can See Clearly Now had the mostly middle age to senior crowd caught in the headlights. When cars pass you by daily on the street with Rap, Hip Hop and Rock n Roll scaring you awake with loudness, a Holly Cole concert is a welcome shock to the system. In this day and age, music with harmony, soul and meaningful lyrics are more of an oddity. Classic Jazz is wondrous once the ears settle in.

John Johnson and David DiRenzo arrived on the scene ( horns and drums ) and the trio evolved into a comfortable shoe. Cole walked within the sound of the band and among her friends with a certain lightness. That weightlessness carried Cole through the second half. In song, she was all business. Hitting every note with ease. Between songs the banter was small but cozy enough to allow the gap between audience and performer to close. In other words, with about six tunes left, Cole had the punters at her mercy.

With a new album under her belt (2018’s Holly) and a what appears to be a permanent reunion with her initial trio, Cole’s career seems vital once more. At a time when most people start thinking of retirement, Cole appears to be ready to roll.

Some things improve with age.

Visit Holly Here !

Visit The Montreal Jazz Festival Here !

Photos Victor Diaz Lamich

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