|Born||November 25, 1963|
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Holly Cole (born November 25, 1963) is a Canadian jazz singer and actress. For many years she performed with her group The Holly Cole Trio.
Cole was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her father, Leon Cole, was a noted radio broadcaster for the CBC Stereo network.
In 1983, Cole travelled to Toronto to seek a musical career. In 1986, she founded a trio with bassist David Piltch and pianist Aaron Davis. Offered a record deal in 1989, the Holly Cole Trio released an EP, Christmas Blues, that year, which featured a version of The Pretenders' "2,000 Miles," which has proven to be very popular. This was followed by their first full album, Girl Talk, in 1990.
A succession of releases followed through the early 1990s. For example, 1991's Blame It On My Youth, covered songs by Tom Waits ("Purple Avenue," aka "Empty Pockets") and Lyle Lovett ("God Will"), includes show tunes such as "If I Were a Bell" (from Guys and Dolls ) and "On the Street Where You Live" (from My Fair Lady ), and remakes "Trust In Me," from Disney's The Jungle Book , into a strikingly sultry and sinister song of seduction and death. Also recorded in this period was a reinterpretation of Elvis Costello's "Alison."
In 1993, the trio released Don't Smoke in Bed , an album produced by David Was, which included a hit single cover version of "I Can See Clearly Now". According to Jeff Bateman and James Hale, "The video for the song was put into heavy rotation on MuchMusic and earned a Juno Award nomination for Best Video. The album went platinum in Canada, reached No. 7 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart, and won a Juno Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album, in 1994."
During this time she also had an acting role in Laurie Lynd's Genie Award winning short film The Fairy Who Didn't Want to Be a Fairy Anymore .
On November 10, 1994 the Holly Cole Trio performed in a first season episode of Due South ("Chicago Holiday, Part 1") with Cole singing the Aaron Davis composition "Neon Blue" in a dinner club for several minutes during the opening credits. The song was later released on the Due South: The Original Television Soundtrack (1996) CD, and later by Holly Cole only on the Japanese compilation album Yesterday & Today (1994). The Holly Cole Trio followed this appearance with another in the following Due South episode (of November 17) where she sings "Smile" from Blame It On My Youth during the ball scene at the end of the episode.
Following Don't Smoke In Bed, the trio released a CD entirely of songs by Tom Waits, called Temptation . This 1995 release also dropped the "Trio" from the label.
Cole followed with two albums, Dark Dear Heart (1997) and Romantically Helpless (2000), which veered further from jazz by introducing pop elements to Cole's sound.
In 2001, she returned to the Christmas jazz roots of her first CD with Baby It's Cold Outside, which included "Christmas Time is Here" (from A Charlie Brown Christmas ), "Santa Baby", and the title track. Swapping cold for hot, she moved to a summer theme in 2003's Shade, this time reinterpreting Cole Porter ("Too Darn Hot"), Irving Berlin ("Heatwave"), and The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson ("God Only Knows"). The album was named Jazz Recording of the Year at the 2004 Juno Awards.
In 2002 Cole was the featured vocalist on an album of compositions by the English Composer Gavin Bryars, titled I Have Heard It Said That a Spirit Enters, singing on the title piece, as well as on "Planet Earth" and "The Apple".
Cole's album Holly Cole (originally entitled This House Is Haunted) was released in Canada in March 2007. It was released in the US in January 2008 and was followed by a US tour.
Cole tours frequently, particularly around the holiday season, in Canada. She was also a part of the 1998 Lilith Fair tour, and her song "Onion Girl" was included on that year's live compilation album.
In 2010, Cole contributed a track for the World Jazz For Haiti charity album, recorded at Number 9 Audio Group in support of the Red Cross disaster relief fund. The album featured Canadian artists such as John McDermott, David Clayton-Thomas and George Koller.
Cole's first live DVD + CD titled Steal The Night: Live at the Glenn Gould Studio was released in Canada in February 2012. It was recorded live at Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto on August 11, 2011. The performance marks the reformation of the original Holly Cole Trio lineup with Aaron Davis on piano and bassist David Piltch, in addition to John Johnson (horns), Rob Piltch (guitars) and Davide DiRenzo (drums).
Cole's first studio album in five years, Nightwas released in late 2012 on Universal Music Canada. The album, produced by Cole and Greg Cohen, covers songs from Tom Waits ("Walk Away"), Gordon Lightfoot ("If You Could Read My Mind"), Mort Shuman ("Viva Las Vegas"), Captain Beefheart ("Love Lies"), a James Bond theme by John Barry ("You Only Live Twice"), and a Cole original ("You've Got a Secret"). Cole toured in support of Night in 2012-13 to Canada, America, Germany and Japan.
In February 2018, she released a new studio album titled simply Holly.
Cole received an honorary degree from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario in June 2014.
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Temptation is a tribute album to Tom Waits, by Holly Cole. Originally released in Canada in 1995 on Alert Records, it was also released internationally in 1995 on the Metro Blue imprint of Capitol Records.
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Don't Smoke in Bed is an album by the Holly Cole Trio that draws its title from a composition by Willard Robison. Originally released in Canada in 1993 on Alert Records, the album was also released internationally in 1993 on the Manhattan imprint of Capitol Records.
Treasure is a limited edition compilation album by Holly Cole Trio. It was released in Canada in 1998 on Alert Records. It is a collection of "Hits and Previously Unreleased Tracks" from 1989-1993. However, the sleeve notes concede that Last Rose Of Summer dates from January 1995 but "it is one of Holly's favourites". There are 6 previously released tracks and 8 previously unreleased recordings.
It Happened One Night 6.28 is a live album by Holly Cole. Originally released in Canada in 1996 on Alert Records, it was also released in 1996 on the Metro Blue imprint of Capitol Records. It was recorded on June 28, 1995 at the St. Denis Theatre in Montreal, PQ and was originally released as an Enhanced CD including QuickTime video content playable on both Mac and Windows.
Romantically Helpless is a studio album by Holly Cole. It was released in Canada in 2000 on Alert Records and mastered as an HDCD encoded CD.
Blame It On My Youth is an album by the Holly Cole Trio. Originally released in Canada in 1991 on Alert Records, it was subsequently released internationally in 1992 on the Manhattan imprint of Capitol Records.
Christmas Blues is an EP, the first recording by the Holly Cole Trio. It was released in 1989 on Alert Records in Canada. It is notable for the Jazz cover of The Pretenders' "2,000 Miles"
Baby, It's Cold Outside is a Christmas album by Holly Cole. It was released in Canada in 2001 on Alert Records.
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Steal the Night is a live CD/DVD by Canadian jazz singer Holly Cole that was released in 2012 in Canada by Alert Records. This is her first live DVD release. It was recorded at Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto on August 11, 2011. The performance marked the reformation of the Holly Cole Trio with Aaron Davis on piano and David Piltch on bass, in addition to John Johnson (horns), Rob Piltch (guitar), and David DiRenzo (drums).
Night is a studio album by Holly Cole released in July 2012 on the Tradition & Moderne label in Germany, and in November 2012 on Universal Music in Canada. Night is the first studio album from Holly Cole since a 2007 self-titled release. The album features pianist Aaron Davis, bassists David Piltch & Greg Cohen, drummer Davide DiRenzo, lap steel guitarist Greg Leisz, guitarist Kevin Breit, percussionist Cyro Baptista and Johnny Johnson on horns. The album's fifth track is a cover of Elvis Presley's 'Viva Las Vegas'. Cole's other covers on the album include Tom Waits's "Walk Away" and Captain Beefheart's "Love Lies".
David Piltch is a Canadian bassist and session musician.