Eddie and Betty Cole • Two Hot Coles

Edward and Perlina Coles must have done something right. Although Edward (a minister) and Perlina (a singer in choirs) would have preferred that their children perform spirituals, they must have been proud that all four of their sons became talented pianist-singers. Nat King Cole (1919-65), who was the first to drop the S from his last name, was of course world famous while Freddy Cole (1931-2020) emerged from his brother’s shadow to have a successful career of his own. Ike Cole (1927-2001) was much less known but he led his own trio in Chicago in the 1950s and ’60s and played piano with his niece Natalie Cole on part of her Unforgettable album in 1991. The oldest of the four Coles was Eddie Cole (1910-70), who today is chiefly remembered for the four-song session from July 28, 1936, that he led as the head of Eddie Cole’s Solid Swingers. While Cole plays bass and sings “Honey Hush,” the reason that that music has been reissued many times is that it includes the earliest recordings of Nat King Cole. Eddie Cole had been the bassist with Noble Sissle’s Orchestra during 1930-36 but, soon after the Solid Swingers date, he switched his focus to piano. He recorded three singles for the Gotham label in 1950, married pianist-singer Betty Cole, and they formed an unusual team. 60 years before Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi, they performed on one piano, singing and playing to
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Scott Yanow

Since 1975 Scott Yanow has been a regular reviewer of albums in many jazz styles. He has written for many jazz and arts magazines, including JazzTimes, Jazziz, Down Beat, Cadence, CODA, and the Los Angeles Jazz Scene, and was the jazz editor for Record Review. He has written an in-depth biography on Dizzy Gillespie for AllMusic.com. He has authored 11 books on jazz, over 900 liner notes for CDs and over 20,000 reviews of jazz recordings.

Yanow was a contributor to and co-editor of the third edition of the All Music Guide to Jazz. He continues to write for Downbeat, Jazziz, the Los Angeles Jazz Scene, the Jazz Rag, the New York City Jazz Record and other publications.

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