Holly Cole (b. 1963) is a jazz singer with a versatile repertoire. Throughout her career, Cole has performed songs from many musical styles, but her most well-known work is in jazz.
Describing the track in words doesn't do justice to the result.
Track: Train Song (by Tom Waits)
Album: Temptation (1995)
Label: Blue Note Records
Appears on: DALI CD Vol. 2
In 1986, Holly Cole founded a trio with bassist David Piltch and pianist Aaron Davis. With this trio, she recorded several records, of which Temptation is the most well-known. More recently, she has also recorded with larger groups. All songs on the album are composed by Tom Waits and can be considered a tribute album.
Train Song is a peculiar recording, in that Cole and the double bass provide the melody and accompaniment. The percussion mimics a steam engine, a railroad crossing, the sound of steel wheels on the train tracks and wheels screeching under braking; all effectively communicated with minimal means.
Describing the track in words doesn't do justice to the result, which sounds wonderfully complete and requires no enhancement. The bass sounds strong and deep, continuously pushing the rhythm and helped by the shakers in the percussion. Well-balanced, they form a strong audio image.
The reverb and ambience on this recording are also very well balanced. Cole's voice is nicely embedded in the mix, supporting and being supported by the double bass at the same time. Her expression is very clear and all the nuances Cole puts into her performance are clearly audible.