CHICAGO (CBS) — Music fans are mourning the loss of Chicago jazz musician Freddy Cole who passed away on Saturday.
He was 88.
Cole recently appeared at the Chicago Jazz Fest last summer and he talked about how fun it was performing for his hometown crowd.
“It’s quite a thrill. It’s quite a thrill. You remember the festivals from the years back, when we used to go out in the park and listen to everybody, Cole said.
Cole is the brother of Nat “King” Cole. The family grew up on Chicago. The Cole family grew up on Chicago’s South Side in the Bronzeville neighborhood and it was on the South Side where many nightclubs allowed him and his contemporaries to play music non-stop. There was never a shortage of clubs or gigs to play.
“On the same block you would have two or three taverns with music in them. Especially up and down 63rd Street. They had every block between South Park and Cottage Grove. They had some type of music. Trios, quartets, quintets, just different things,” Cole said.
That time and space inspired Cole to record one of his most famous songs “On the South Side of Chicago.”
The Chicago musician said the worked hard to establish his own name and away from his famous brother’s shadow.
“You go through a lot to get to be the musician that I am right now. But I made it through,” Cole said. “With the help of a lot of great musicians, the guys that I played with over the years. And I’ll leave it at that.”
But he has only good things to say about his famous brother.
“He was a nice man, a very helpful man,” remembered Cole. “He just loved to play music, (and) everybody loved him. His records were big,” Cole said.