Entertainment Weekly - 5/12/00, p.79
"Blessed with much of the same warmth, timbral beauty, and grace that helped make his more imaginative older borther Nat 'King' Cole so appealing, Freddy is always easy to take [and] the band is casually excellent..." - Rating: B-
Down Beat - 8/00, p.774 stars out of 5
- "...Whatever the accompaniment, Cole extracts the maximum from each tune....asserting his stature as our greatest living jazz singer."
JazzTimes - 12/00, p.131
"...Cole reworks each facet of the classic cut to its full-blown potential. Hell, some might even call his performance unforgettable."
Personnel: Freddy Cole (vocals, piano); Lou Marini (alto saxophone, alto flute); Eric Alexander (tenor saxophone); Gary Smulyan (baritone saxophone); Lew Soloff (trumpet); Steve Davis (trombone); Cedar Walton (piano); Jerry Byrd (guitar); George Mraz, Herman Burney (bass); Curtis Boyd (drums).
Recorded at Sear Sound Studio C, New York, New York on September 8 & 9, 1999. Includes liner notes by Will Friedwald.
MERRY-GO-ROUND was nominated for the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album.
Singer Freddy Cole is the brother of late, legendary singer/pianist Nat "King" Cole. And while Freddy Cole's smooth approach echoes his brother's, he's no imitator. This Cole is a bit more swing- and jazz-oriented in the manner of singers Mel Torme and Tony Bennett. MERRY-GO-ROUND is the kind of album some wish brother Nat (and for that matter, Frank Sinatra) would have made more often. The singer is backed by a small, intimate group of ace jazz players (including the great mainstream pianist Cedar Walton and sweet-toned trumpeter Lew Soloff) on a fresh set of tunes.