A Jazz Legend Takes ‘the Rock’

At the Dory on Shelter Island
Freddy Cole

   Freddy Cole, a jazz pianist and vocalist The New York Times called “the most maturely expressive male jazz singer of his generation, if not the best alive,” is coming to perform four dinner shows at the Dory on Shelter Island. Dinner-and-show seatings are available for $75 on Monday and Tuesday at 6 and 8:30 p.m.
    The musician spoke to The Star on Sunday just after his return from Japan and before his granddaughter’s swimming meet in Atlanta, where he lives when not traveling the world. “That’s what I do,” he said, “fortunately.” He said he enjoys playing at places he has frequented for decades, where, he said, he sings everything from “Broadway to the blues.”
    While not his claim to fame, it’s no secret that Mr. Cole has the blood of music royalty in his veins, with Nat King Cole as a brother and Natalie Cole a niece.
    The Dory, which might seem like an unlikely place for such a musician, is actually an annual destination for Mr. Cole. Jack Kiffer, the Bridge Street restaurant and bar’s owner, has been a friend of Mr. Cole’s for over 20 years. “We always have a good time,” Mr. Cole said, speaking for his four-piece band, which has a bass player, a guitarist, and a drummer.
    Shelter Islanders who have experienced his piano playing, vocals, and style there have said they felt as if they had entered a time machine, transported back into a “Casablanca” scene of days gone by.
    Mr. Kiffer said on Sunday that the three-course dinner will offer entree choices of filet mignon, a French chicken dish, or striped bass. And, he added, “reservations are necessary — he fills this place up.”