Hillary Kole: A Self Portrait

Vocalist Hilary Kole has been out of the spotlight for a year or so, and this album will make you want to know why, as this collection of tunes has her in a mix of vulnerable, world-wise, world-weary and longing moods that only comes from experiences seeds sown in tears that hopefully bring a harvest of joy.

She definitely can prove she has the chops, Broadway sense of tone, and jazz feel when as she teams up with Paul Gill/b, John Hart/g, Aaron Kimmel/dr and Tedd Firth-John Di Martino/p for tricky finger snappers like “Lemon Twist” and the slightly funky “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover.” Most of the time here, however, she’s in a reflective and vulnerable mood, glistening on the pensive “When The World Was Young” and bearing her soul with Agnes Nagy’s cello on “God Give Me Strength.” Over the dark yet assertive agitation from piano and drums Kole comes across almost in despair as she assesses the situation on “It’s All Right With Me.’ She offers comfort as only someone who has deeply experienced hurt is able to on the inviting and warm handed “Come A Little Closer” that reveals a level of emotion that only comes from someone who has walked with a limp. Harrowing, but worth the trip.


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