Guitarist/vocalist George Cole has been leading a musical double life for quite some time. He’s had one foot in the rock world, playing with the likes of Joe Walsh and Chris Isaak, and providing musical mentorship to Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt of Green Day. Simultaneously, he pursues his deepest passion – the gypsy jazz pioneered by the late, great Django Reinhardt and his primary musical collaborator, Stephane Grappelli.
Cole’s main gig these days is as frontman, guitarist and vocalist with Eurocana, a killer collective of like-minded gypsy jazzers from around the world. French/Argentinian guitarist Mathias Minquet Villarino is a brilliant player and devout Reinhardt disciple; South Korean violinist Echae Kang has a “to die for” resume in both the classical and jazz idioms; upright bassist/vocalist Jenefer Taylor is as adept at laying down the bottom end as she is at harmonizing with Cole in a voice that moves with the easy grace of Patsy Cline’s.
Together, the members of Eurocana offer a masterful blend of Great American Songbook classicism and Gypsy jazz fire.
The band plays at 9:30 tonight in the Sportsmen’s Tavern (326 Amherst St.). Tickets are $15 (at the door and through www.sportsmenstavern.net). Listen to George Cole & Eurocana via www.georgecole.net.
– Jeff Miers