Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Holly Cole - Temptation


I have been a fan of the Holly Cole Trio for several years, and I must say, this recording just gets better and better the more I listen. Having listened to all styles of the trio's music - blues, R&B, "pop", and...whatever you want to call Ms. Coles "unique" realizations of songs, this would fall moslty in that last category. Fortunately, it's where she (and the trio) excels the most. If you are new to The Holly Cole Trio, they are a jazz/based ensemble that excels in REALLY digging into the zeitgeist of dark, poignant, or even slightly scary song writing. In other words, the writing of songwriters such as Tom Waits. They both are from the "meloncholy" category of personality types (rather than phlegmatic, choleric, or sanguine. The "sanguines" are the folks in the other reviews that complain that this recording should be more "peppy!" They just don't get it, and that's OK. Try Britney Spears or Bare Naked Ladies - very peppy! This recording is for the "meloncholies", or those that desire to peer into that side of their personalities) MS. Cole has the uncanny ability to completely own a lyric and all its depth of meaning. Then, she has the voice to interpret it with exquisite nuance and laser-like delivery. Make no mistake - every nuance she brings to the song is carefully planned and executed, down to her breathinig, lip smacking, growls, and even out-of-tune delivery. Her method - she tends to slow things down a bit, thin out the arrangement (sometimes just her and the bass), and then deliver the "story" of the song as if she had sidled up, placed her arms around your neck, looked you unwaveringy in the eye, and then begins to sing. I haver rarely ever had repeated repeated shivers run up and down my spine listening to a recorded vocalist, but it happens here, and more with each listening. Its at once both an intimate and mind-expanding experience. One caveat - this is an amazingly rendered recording, as are most of her works. Its the reason Audio Installation professionals always have their Holly Cole CD's with them when they test out their work - the stark clarity of her voice, the amazing depths of the bass (down to 10hz), the purity of the piano micing, and the very present rendering of the rare guest musicians are all reference-standard. Because of their detailed sparseness, much is lost if listening on a a less-than-stellar system. Part of the talent of the trio lies in the wonderful subtleties they bring to their performances, and much of it is lost in typical "boom box" systems, car systems, or computer systems. I believe this is why some folks may be led to say things such as "needs more pep!', or God forbid, "This is boring". If you have at least some meloncholy tendencies, or are a fan ot Tom Waits, or like the song stylists of the early part of the last century, you will love this recording. Buy it, and let Ms. Cole and her trio take you places you may have never been before. - by TSO, Amazon.com

On her third American album, Holly Cole turned in a set of Tom Waits songs recorded with an augmented version of her trio; in addition to piano and bass, there are drums and guitar, as well as the occasional contribution from The Canadian Brass and harmonica player Howard Levy. The result puts a welcome twist on the songs, which include numbers from each stage of Waits's career, and reasserts Cole's talent as an interpreter. - by Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AMG

Artist: Holly Cole
Album:Temptation
Year: 1995
Label: Metro Blue
Runtime: 61:57

Tracks:
1.  Take Me Home 2:29
2.  Train Song 3:28
3.  Jersey Girl 3:47
4.  Temptation 3:07
5.  Falling Down 5:20
6.  Invitation To The Blues 4:24
7.  Cinny's Waltz 2:36
8.  Frank's Theme 3:12
9.  Little Boy Blue 3:00
10.  I Don't Wanna Grow Up 4:32
11.  Tango Til They're Sore 4:30
12.  (Looking For) The Heart Of Saturday Night 3:39
13.  Soldiers Things 3:25
14.  I Want You 2:58
15.  Good Old World 1:37
16.  The Briar And The Rose 5:17
17.  Shiver Me Timbers 4:27
All compositions by Tom Waits

Personnel:
Holly Cole (Vocals) - 1-13,15-17
Aaron Davis (Piano) - 1,3,5-8,10-17
David Piltch (Double Bass, Nautical and Bass Percussion) - 1-6,9-13,16,17
Dougie Bowne (Drums) - 2-6,9,11,12,14
Howard Levy (Harmonica) - 5,7,12,13
Cyro Baptista (Percussion) - 2,11-13
The Colettes (Choir) - 3
Rhoda Dog (Vocals) - 4
Phil Dwyer (Alto Saxophone) - 9
Earl Seymour (Baritone Saxophone) - 9
Perry White (Tenor Saxophone) - 9
Kevin Breit (Electric Slide Guitar) - 12
Rob Piltch (Acoustic Guitar) - 12
Anne Bourne (Cello) - 14
Douglas Perry (Viola) - 14
Anne Lederman (Five String Viola) - 14
Ronald Romm (Trumpet) - 16
Frederic Mills (Trumpet) - 16
David Ohanian (French Horn) - 16
Eugene Watts (Trombone) - 16
Charles Daellenbach (Tuba) - 16

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