Freddie King’s first album has taken a long time to materialise but the Edinburgh-based singer is now probably - and unfairly - better known as young songstress Niki King’s old man than as the owner of a distinctive dark-toned voice, and adventurous singing style.
Joined by a band containing others among the Scottish jazz scene’s unsung players, including Jimmy Wood, King concentrates here on his ballad side. There’s still adventure - the solo vocal intro to You Are Too Beautiful for example - but this is King luxuriating in the depths of his vocal range, sounding intimate, sincere and conversational, with occasional nods to his hero, Mark Murphy in the phrasing.
Daughter Niki joins dad for a dual-toned Over The Rainbow to close an album that’ll appeal to relaxing nighthawks especially.
Herald, 24 Dec 2005
KING ON RECORD
He's a class act, as is his daughter Nikki.
Everybody in Edinburgh with an ear for quality vocals has been urging Freddie King to make an album and he's done it at last. Diggin' Deep is all ballads, all beauties and a credit to the man and the musicians involved, including, on tenor-sax Frank Perowski, a former MD for Liza Minnelli. Nikki comes in with her dad on the closing Over the Rainbow. [...]
Evening News, 30 Nov 2005
Singer Freddie King has been around on the Edinburgh jazz scene for some time and [...] he has continued to develop his trademark style on material ranging from manic Fats Waller interpretations, with Brian Kellock, through to the smooth balladry that fills this disc of familiar standards. Freddie’s deep, dark voice and expressive but mannered delivery is supported by an excellent cast of musicians, and [his daughter] Niki joins him in a duet on Over the Rainbow.
The Scotsman, 09 Dec 2005
KING PLAYS THE ACE WITH NEW CD RELEASE
Vocalist Freddie King is an innovator, rather than an imitator. He is a musician’s singer. Someone who can bend the bars with accomplished ease. A man whose timing is impeccable. A jazzman through and through.
But while Freddie has a reputation for being somewhat off-the-wall, this new CD shows another side of the singer. There is no scat singing, no boplicity and none of the vocal mayhem for which he is so well known. In essence, you get ten timeless ballads to which he brings his quintessentially rich timbre, astonishing range and masterly control. This is a very different King - a sensitive and vulnerable King.
And he has chosen his sidemen with care. Pianist Paul Harrison, for instance, who is one of the jazz giants in this city, gives a quite understated performance; and it is what he doesn’t do that makes it all work. Likewise, the emotive playing of Lachlan McColl on guitar and Jimmy Wood on alto sax, brings real lyrical quality to this album.
You will also hear the great New York tenorman Frank Perowsky, flautist Dave Heath, plus some of the finest brushwork in the business from drummer Dave Swanson.
To have all of these superb musicians on one disc would be a record producer’s dream, but when you add the voice of Freddie King, you’ve got yourself a winner.
Numbers include: Lush Life, Solitude, and Over the Rainbow. However, Freddie’s rendering of the poignant Jimmy van Heusen number But Beautiful is precisely that. He doesn’t just sing the lyrics, you feel that he actually believes every word. He puts his soul into each line; and he does exactly what it says on the sleeve.
If there is any justice in this world, the album should position King firmly on the international stage. And not a moment before time.
Frank Vilardi (New York Drummer: Donny Osmond, Bacon Brothers, etc.)
"One of the very best things about the way you deliver the songs is the clarity of your diction. This reminds me of the great singers of yesteryear. Every word can be heard, understood and its emotional impact within the song savoured. You have really gone up even more in my estimation in terms of the professionalism, artistry and sheer musicality that you display in this album.
You deserve real success from this CD Freddie and I really do hope you achieve it! As an album, it will definitely take pride of place in my record collection and I will listen to it many, many times! "
"You are the king of superstars! Congratulations!"
"I think your CD is wonderful, the best thing I’ve heard in ages. Good luck with it."
Andrea Turner (Jazz singer)
"I listened to your first album. It’s so romantic and superb for Christmas. I also like the picture on the CD. You look very good."
"It was so great to hear you and now I can hear you on your CD and it is wonderful."
Sheila Jordan (Jazz Singer & Educator)
"Quite a different kind of vocalist, huh?"
Nikolaj Bentzon (Pianist & Conductor with the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra)
"Freddie King has a good voice, a bit reminiscent of Arthur Prysock (?) The rhythm section, especially the pianist, are excellent! Congratulations."
Steve Sacks (American saxophonist, Japan)
"An album - at last! It’s just as good as expected."
"A blend of deep passion, emotion and artistic sensitivity, topped up with that velvety soothing sound of a truly amazing voice [...] I feel privileged to have the album."
"The CD is absolutely beautiful. The classiest jazz vocal CD I have heard come out of Scotland in a very long time. Brilliant. You sing f***ing amazing."
Sophie Bancroft (Jazz singer / Vocal tutor)