When listening to a Holly Cole recording, your first impression is that she is singing to you – just you. Her artistic trademark is that when selecting material, she gets right into the heart of the lyric and melody, sometimes reconstructing them to suit her interpretation and vocal style. All the while she is being true to the song. Her show at the acoustically wonderful Maison Symphonique will feature many of the jazz standards from her newest album, Holly.

In 2017, Holly returned to the recording studio for the first time in years; to Sear Sound in New York City for the sessions. Holly and Grammy Award winning producer Russ Titelman departed from her usual procedure in the making of this new album. Several of the songs were selected by Russ, and for the first time in many sessions, Holly agreed to use musicians other that her long-time band, anchored by pianist Aaron Davis.

“It was an interesting experience for me to walk in the studio on day one of recording and meet most of the musicians for the first time. And then play songs that I basically did not participate in arranging. That’s pretty different for me. I consider arranging to be a substantial part of my identity as a musician. Having less control was challenging. And what I found was that it took me to new places as a singer.”

You’ll hear what I mean about Holly’s singing in her treatment of the jazz standard, Teach Me Tonight. Without going over the top, Holly’s sensual inflection of the double-entendre lyrics are spot-on. The tasteful and melodic organ solo by Larry Goldrings illustrates why Holly and producer Russ Titelman both wanted Larry for the sessions. Other songs include: I’m Beginning To See The Light,

“Most of all, her playfulness and the sheer pleasure of singing to a crowd

reminds me of Ella more than any past recipient”

…André Ménard, Artistic Director and Co-Founder of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal upon presenting Cole the prestigious Ella Fitzgerald award.

“Russ and I both wanted Larry Goldings as the piano player and arranger for the New York sessions. Apart from being an astounding musician he shares my musical aesthetic and is a kindred spirit. Russ suggested that I do a couple of vocal duets with trombone player/singer Wycliffe Gordon. I haven’t done that many vocal duets before. It can be hard to find the right chemistry musically and personally with another singer. Wycliffe and I fell in from the get go. He’s such a fascinating man and a great singer and trombone player. Singing with him was pure joy.”

After returning to Toronto, Holly recorded a few more songs with her long-time band to complete the album. “I love playing with my original Trio members Aaron Davis and David Piltch, piano and bass and along with drummer Davide DiRenzo and John Johnson on horns we recorded three more tracks that made the record.  And then we were done, it’s my hope you come to enjoy the fruits of our collective labours as much as we all do, happy listening!

Holly Cole will perform at Place des Arts’ Maison Symphonique on July 5. For tickets please call 514-842-2112 or online: www.placedesarts.com

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