Stephen Holden on “Our Sinatra”

September 2, 2010

The NYTimes on the show at the Algonquin: “For the show’s 10th anniversary or thereabouts (I first saw it in 1999), its original cast members — Eric Comstock, Hilary Kole and Christopher Gines — have reunited, accompanied by Boots Maleson on bass.

“A decade later each performer is more relaxed and immersed in the material than before. Each emphasizes a different aspect of the Sinatra mystique.”

Stephen Holden on Hilary Kole and Friends

August 11, 2010

The NYTimes reviews the Canadian jazzbird: “Ms. Kole belongs to the pop-jazz school of Ann Hampton Callaway and Jane Monheit. Jazzy and swinging but solidly middle of the road in attitude, she has a warm glowing tone and a forthright interpretive approach that focuses on lyrics phrase by phrase. Among the three, she is the least fancy when it comes to embellishment. She doesn’t adopt a different persona to deliver a particular song, nor does she reconceive standards outside conventional boundaries. One of her greatest strengths is the warmth of her voice, which swells passionately on certain words.”

Hilary Kole’s Haunted Heart

April 27, 2009

Haunted HeartWow!  I was blown away when I first heard Hilary Kole’s CD, Haunted Heart.   Kole is a jazz-veering-to-cabaret singer.  So she has an amazing lyrical integrity (but beware if you only listen to her recording and are trying to learn the melodies of any songs).

She has an amazing intensity to her singing and truly commits to her performances.  Her Blackberry Winter has a special wistfulness and she even makes warhorses like There’s a Small Hotel and What’ll I Do sound like they’re being sung for the first time.  Amazing job backing her up by Tedd Firth on piano, Paul Gill on bass, and Mark McLean on drums. 

1. It’s Love
2. There’s A Small Hotel
3. ‘Deed I Do
4. I Didn’t Know About You
5. Better Than Anything
6. Like A Lover
7. Blackberry Winter
8. The Snake
9. Old Boyfriends
10. How Am I To Know
11. What’ll I Do
12. You For Me
13. Haunted Heart