Wednesday, June 09, 2010

David Finkle on Hilary Kole

"Throughout her current Birdland gig, the jazz-pop singer Hilary Kole has … a pure voice that flows as easily as burnished notes from a muted trumpet, impeccable musicianship, pellucid phrasing, the ability to swing an up-tune … [and] a visible appreciation of the musicians backing her (the marvelous pianist-arranger Tedd Firth, guitarist John Hart, drummer Mark McLean, bassist Paul Gill). … 'Better Than Anything' [is] a list song that Kole says she still doesn't quite understand — an honest response, since what the songwriters are referring to as better than anything but love is never made explicit. … The bright-and-breezy approach is also applied … to the Dorothy Parker (yes, Dottie Parker)-Jack King 'How Was I to Know.' … Incidentally, in time for Kole's Birdland nesting, she's bringing out a new CD, Haunted Heart, on which she uses the same musicians but for Hart, who's replaced by the disk's producer, John Pizzarelli. The 'Haunted Heart' title couldn't be more appropriate, because there is something not only haunting about her renditions of the ballads included but also, in the way she does them, somehow stunningly haunted" ("Hilary Kole Deserves to Be Your Valentine," Huffington Post, 2/12/10).


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