By Michele L. Simms-Burton | Published August 2019
If you know Holly Cole from her Sondheim interpretations, this album will be a delight.
On Holly, Cole displays an adroitness at delivering standards from the Great American Songbook, and opens with “I’m Beginning To See The Light,” the vocalist flowing with excellent phrasing as trombonist Wycliffe Gordon adds a conversational quality to the work. The standard is followed with “Your Mind Is On Vacation,” as Cole and her band emit an r&b vibe. A number of tunes also find the singer delivering with a lounge-like quality: nothing too exciting or too banal, either.
The treats on the album, though, come from Larry Goldings on organ and piano. For “Teach Me Tonight,” his chording adds depth, color and body. And when Goldings (on piano) accompanies Cole for ballad “It Could Happen To You,” the marriage of the bandleader’s singing and Golding’s playing adds up to more than most duos can summon.
But the real engine of the recording revs up on “Ain’t That A Kick In The Head,” opening with Davide DiRenzo on drums and David Piltch on bass, before Cole slides in with her vocal line.
Concluding with “Lazy Afternoon,” it becomes evident that Cole sounds best singing ballads accompanied by Ed Cherry on guitar, who overlays a West Coast vibe, as the vocalist rounds out another sturdy leader date.
Holly: I’m Beginning To See The Light; Your Mind Is On Vacation; I Was Doing All Right; It Could Happen To You; Ain’t That A Kick In The Head; Teach Me Tonight; We’ve Got A World That Swings; They Can’t Take That Away From Me; Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime; I Could Write A Book; Lazy Afternoon. (38:23)
Personnel: Holly Cole, vocals; Larry Goldings, piano, Hammond B-3 organ; Wycliffe Gordon, trombone, vocals; Ed Cherry, guitar; Aaron Davis, piano, Fender Rhodes; Scott Robinson, tenor saxophone; John Johnson (5), flute; Ben Street, David Piltch (2, 5, 9), bass; Justin Faulkner, Davide DiRenzo (2, 5), drums.