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Cover Article : Feature Last Updated: Jun 26th, 2009 - 00:12:06


Steve Cole Returns to Roots in "True"
By Kim Betton, CRESCENDOjazz.com
Nov 12, 2007, 20:41

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Beautiful, sensual, and funky. That's the bottom line truth for TRUE, the latest line of jazz grooves by Shy Town Sax Man Steve Cole. "I wanted to return to my roots and things that I do best and the styles that I love," Cole told CRESCENDOjazz.com. Freestyle is another tone you could set for TRUE.
Steve Cole "TRUE"

Cole produced and wrote this CD. And yet, after 5 albums and a prosperous musical career, Cole said he now has a recording solely for his fans. "I wanted to make a record for fans and I really wanted to concentrate on them and focus on the best writing and production," he expressed.

Fans indeed show their love for the "A" line artist, packing his concerts across the world. CRESCENDOjazz.com caught up with Cole during a performance in Washington, DC, where he graced the stage among jazz lovers at one of the hottest spots in town - Zanzibar, On the Waterfront.

Performing live is a first love for Cole as it takes his music to higher ground. "When I run into people on the road and live shows, there's another level of excitement. We as artists, want more of that," Cole told CRESCENDOjazz.com. "We sometimes get preoccupied in making records and lose sight of the fact that people are listening to records. We need to showcase a deeper understanding of what a musician does by really using spontaneity and excitement."

Steve Cole Live in Washington, DC: Photo by: CRESCENDOjazz.com
When you listen to TRUE - you'll be moved, swayed with a vibe that's just down right cool. You'll be inspired to snap your fingers, tap you feet - or even lay back and relax. It's just that kind of CD.

Guest artists on the recording include David Mann on saxophone, Ricky Peterson on base and Khari Parker on drums. Cole said he enjoyed the works of these musical geniuses and the team effort helped to produce one of his most inspirational albums of his career.

"TRUE IS MY MOST MATURE WORK. IT'S THE MUSIC THAT I LOVE. IT'S FUNKY, SOULFUL, COMPLEX AND JUBILANT."
-Steve Cole

Cole's Chicago roots also helped to influence the production of TRUE, "Chicago is a big commercial center. It really has a diverse music scene with the likes of Chaka Kahn, Ramsey Lewis," he said while reflecting on the early years of growing up in Chicago.

The smooth jazz artist is a graduate of Northwestern University with a B.S. in Economics, but music was always his first love.

Cole picked up the saxophone at 9 years old. He later became a member of his junior high and high school bands. He said growing up listening to his father play saxophone was his rooted inspiration. He remembers, as a child, the times when his father would take him to jazz concerts and shows around town - to educate and enlighten him on jazz's rich history and culture. "My dad exposed me to great layers," said Cole. "He had three jobs - a day gig, and two part time jobs. He would take me to his night job where he played music. He gave me inspirational lectures as we'd also spend hours in the car riding together. I remember listening to the radio and he'd ask me to play the guessing game to name the jazz artists on the radio," said Cole.

After studying modern classical music for saxophone at Northwestern University, Cole earned an MBA at the University of Chicago. Making his debut in 1998 with the Atlantic Records release, "Stay Awhile," he scored three radio hits that helped him garner the 2000 Oasis Smooth Jazz Prism Award as Best New Artist. Subsequent albums "Between Us," "NY LA," and "Spin" - have also spawned radio hits; hes amassed four #1 singles to date. Cole has toured and/or recorded with Brian Culbertson, Junior Wells, Boz Scaggs, Larry Carlton, Jeff Lorber, Freddie Cole, Cyrus Chestnut, KMFDM, Rick Braun and others.

On the subject of keeping music in our schools, Cole said music education is a gift that could help change a child's life and he's hoping for stronger programs in classrooms across the nation. "Music in our schools offers alot to students - acceptance, strength of diversity, and the miraculous feeling you get from creating something," said Cole. "Music is an art form that can be so inspiring. There's Carribean, Latin and Jazz music and more. This music offers various styles, personal ties and cultures. It is an example of how to promote greatness. We need to help find the beauty in diversity. It breaks down so many barriers," he added. "Our job is not to sale records. Our job is to create music, art and innovative tunes that touch people and speak to people. It is our responsibility as musicians to become involved in our careers by virtue to our commitment to the fans. I also think the younger generation has the ability to be exposed to more artists and more music with growing opportunities on the Internet. I think the more music young people are exposed to, the more they want to hear good music."

Cole is currently on tour. For a complete rundown of his tour dates and times visit www.stevecole.net.


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