A pure voice that flows as easily as burnished notes from a muted trumpet, impeccable musicianship, pellucid phrasing, the ability to swing an up-tune and infuse a ballad with simmering passion...
Ms. Kole's poised, sultry ballad-singing has always been easy on the ears. But her smooth melodic lines have never been so consistently infused with literary subtext, which spells the difference between sounded pretty, and having something to say.
"...Singer Hilary Kole with whom Peterson made his last recording, rendered "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" with such tender grace, that it was easy to understand why Peterson had taken her under his wing."
Here is a woman who could not be more stunning to look at, who has a smoky, rich and vibrant voice, and great musical chops. We can only surmise, but in Haunted Heart Kole set about to choose the songs she most loved and wanted to sing....The end result was an act of depth, feeling and connection. These were songs that mattered to her and she communicated that-sometimes with breathtaking intensity- throughout her performance. In the first place, she's got great taste. Her program was jam-packed with wonderful songs that were essentially lyric driven, giving her the opportunity to sell their sentiments not just with her voice, but with her soul....she was conversational, comfortable and bright. It was a breakthrough show. It will surely be back at Birdland sometime in the near future. This is the Hilary Kole we've all been waiting for.