A concert by Nat King Cole’s younger brother Freddy Cole in late-2010 for me was one of the most enjoyable and unexpected gigs I’d been to in years. Cole, it doesn’t really bother him, had just reprised performing as the voice of his brother Nat on the marvellous animated feature film Chico and Rita.

And at this particular concert playing piano and singing on the small stage of the Pizza Express Jazz Club in Soho’s Dean Street, sometimes standing at a separate microphone, accompanied by the band, he was settling down for a couple of nights. 

Since then he’s been back in London round the corner at Ronnie Scott’s and he’s back there tonight and tomorrow. Definitely a case of do yourself a favour and get down.

When he’s off stage, Cole told me during a break that night at the Pizza, he likes to play golf and take things easy. And maybe he was following the US Open on TV at the weekend.

Onstage golf couldn’t be further from his mind and he brings to life some very old songs by some very hip people, like Billy Eckstine and really knows how to do the lovely Eckstine song ‘Pretty One’. At Ronnie’s he’s with the same band I saw that night, guitarist Randy Napoleon, drummer Curtis Boyd and Elias Bailey on the bass.

Stephen Graham

Freddy Cole, pictured