The songs sung by 2011 Grammy-nominee Freddy Cole speak of love and life in a voice that is as comforting as it is familiar. His is a well-seasoned sound which, while bearing a strong familial resemblance to his late brother Nat King Cole, is unmistakably all his own. It's steeped in the earthiness of the blues, yet possesses a silky sound as suave as the debonair man himself. On "Talk to Me" Freddy explores an interesting program of music by the R&B great Bill Withers, a sprinkling of standards and one tune composed by his son. Trumpeter Terell Stafford and saxophonist Harry Allen are special guests of Freddy and his quartet.
A release that its creator Stanley Jordan cites as his most realized project to date finds him in challenging company: fellow guitarists Charlie Hunter, Russell Malone, Bucky Pizzarelli and Mike Stern; saxmen Kenny Garrett and Ronnie Laws; N'awlins trumpeter Nicholas Payton and the renowned violinist Regina Carter. Christian McBride guests on bass when not handled by Stanley's long-time trio bassist Charnett Moffett. Truly, it's a collection of "Friends" whose benefits push Jordan into a heightened musical reality.