Hilary Kole

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

When we are little our parents teach us to always tell the truth. We are also taught that anything worth having is worth working for. That saying is true whether you're a kid and you want a video game, or if you are a singer and you want a successful music career.

Lately I have been witnessing what I will go ahead and call the downward spiral of someone who seemingly had it all. I struggled with whether to not to write this post because I really don't want to give her more attention than she has already gotten off of my family, but since she wants it so badly I figured hey, why not. 

It is no secret that over the last few years Hilary Kole has been spending more time filing legal documents and attempting to publicly shame people for no apparent reason than she has actually performing. If you google her name instead of music coming up (which is what you would think musicians would want you to see first) you get articles about her many lawsuits with her ex, her attempt at media sympathy, and now the fact that she just lost a copyright lawsuit with both my father's estate and Jayarvee Inc. 

Normally I would not care what some Diana Krall wannabe is doing to publicly embarrass herself (because this is something you see all the time in every genre of music) but the problem this time is that she has been trying since the day my Dad died to have an association with him to further her career. I completely understand the appeal. He was the best. Having the opportunity to work with him is something that musicians all over the world wish they had. What I don't understand is why you would blatantly take advantage of someone who was genuinely being nice and doing a favour for his friend (Gianni Valenti) and attempt to use that to make yourself famous. By the way, I believe in shooting for the stars - but Diana Krall? That's a bit of a reach don't you think, Hilary?

I have bad news for her. If it were not for Gianni, Dad would never have recorded with her in the first place. I am being completely honest in saying that although she has a beautiful voice, she does not have the jazz chops that would bring him into the studio to work with her. That is a fact. There are many kinds of talent and she has a wonderful voice for cabaret but she is not and never will be a jazz singer.

What is even more disappointing about this woman is that she seems to forget on a daily basis that she has worked with some of the best musicians in this industry. Hank Jones, Monty Alexander, Dave Brubeck, Benny Green, Michel Legrand, Cedar Walton and so many more. I am insulted on the behalf of these men by the amount of disrespect she has shown them through all of this. Even though they are all separate from what she attempted to do to my Dad, she is professionally disrespecting any musician she has worked with by causing a scene like this. Basically she is showing that if she doesn't get her way she will strong-arm as many people as possible into pushing the issue whether it is right or wrong.

Throughout all of this I have not felt sorry for her. She did this to herself. I do feel sorry for her family who should be embarrassed, her team who has to try and clean up after her, and for the musicians that work with her. I think she should have a career considering she is a talented singer. I stated earlier that I do not think Jazz is her forte, but I do think she is a talented singer and could have a wonderful and rewarding career that she earned on her own merit. I would have said that even after all the personal insults to my family before this legal case. But now I think you would have to be crazy to work with her. Why would you put yourself in that situation? Look what could happen.

I know a lot of people who are aware of this case (especially her loyal fans) read the information she provided for her friends at the NY Daily News and thought that the Oscar Peterson Estate was bullying poor innocent Hilary Kole. Let me break this down for you:

- In 2006 while performing at Birdland, Dad's good friend, Gianni Valenti arranged at the end of the week for Dad to go into the studio and record with his then girlfriend, Hilary Kole. The session was arranged and together they recorded 4 songs that were meant to be kept as a personal memento of the occasion. There was no contract, no managerial involvement, and no talk of releasing these tracks in any way shape or form.

- In January of 2009 Hilary contacted Kelly Peterson to talk about releasing the tracks on her upcoming Duets album. Knowing that the tracks were never meant to be released, my Mother did not immediately say yes like Hilary wanted and said she needed time to think about it.

- Over the next months many discussions happened about which tracks she would consider, what could and could not be promoted and many other technicalities.

- The discussions fell apart over Hilary being unwilling to accept the terms of the deal. Had she accepted, she would have been able to use a song or two on her album and she would have been happy. She didn't 100% get her way so as expected, she threw a hissy fit, and the whole idea was scrapped.

- This resulted in the perishing of a friendship and no permission whatsoever to release those tracks in any way shape or form.

- In recent years I started hearing the tracks being played online through various radio shows during interviews Hilary was giving. She was contacted by my Mother to kindly stop doing what she does not have permission to do and she refused.

- In January of 2013 the tracks were played again on a radio show and Hilary sealed her fate. We sued her for ownership of all the takes of every track and one year later, we won.

That's right. We won. Hilary's lying under oath, changing her story, singing and crying in court, and her never-ending manipulation of every person around her did not get her what she wanted. Turns out that our parents were right in telling us to always tell the truth. A few thoughts come to my mind when I think of this case. The first of which being how sad this whole story is. I find it quite heartbreaking that this situation had to come to this. I was quite young when I first met Hilary and came to consider her almost like a sister. When all this was first happening I honestly did not understand why. I could not understand why someone I had come to trust implicitly would be doing this to my Mom, my Dad, and me. It didn't make sense.

Secondly I think of how hard I laugh every time I remember that she really thought she would be able to convince countless people that my Dad, after 60 years in this business, would go into the studio with no contract drawn up and record tracks to be released and then hand them over. He had a contract with Ella Fitzgerald so trust me Hilary, he would surely have a contract with you.

Lastly, the part of this that removes whatever ounce of sympathy I had for her in this situation. The fact that Hilary went into the studio to mix the tracks mere days after they had been recorded and decided for herself that Oscar Peterson was not playing his best therefore she would bring in another pianist (shoutout to Mike Renzi - can't wait to meet you and your ego) to fill in the gaps and play what she thought should have been played. Excuse me? Pardon? That's right. That was not something she was talking about to those radio stations while they were playing the tracks. She didn't say Hilary Kole and Oscar Peterson featuring Mike Renzi. No no. This was a secret. So if you did actually get to hear the tracks, you were not really hearing Oscar Peterson. You heard him on the intro and at the end but basically everything else you heard, was Mike Renzi. I am glad he doesn't have a problem fitting the giant head that told him he could play just as good (or in this case, better) as Oscar Peterson through doors!

To be honest there is not much else to say on this subject. The only reason I am writing this is because I am still in that rebellious 20-something stage and the fact that I have been forced to listen to "Why is your Mom bullying poor Hilary" has me sick. Enough is enough. What you just read is the truth. In my opinion Hilary should stop alienating the people who tried to be nice and help her and just stick to singing, which is what she loves. The evil bitterness act got old a long time ago and no one is paying attention. All that positive press you thought you were giving yourself should stop now. Just live your life. Play shows, engage with your fans, and be thankful that you have been given a lovely voice and be happy for the experiences you had. If you can't do that, then I really do feel sorry for you because the years you have left in your life will never truly be happy ones. I have a wonderful life ahead of me and I don't have to manipulate or backstab anyone to get that happiness. Why don't you try it. 

No Comments Yet, Leave Yours!

Hilary Kole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.