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Arts & More: George Cole Quintet swings original jazz. And, Spielberg's "War Horse" is a tearjerker.

By: Lorraine Caron & James Sanford
Kalamazoo, MI
December 26, 2011

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George Cole Quintet

The San Francisco-based George Cole Quintet is in concert December 27 at Foundry Hall in South Haven. Think of the Great American Song Book, add some swing and you’ve got the sound of guitarist George Cole.

Using the music term Americana as a starting point, Cole says he calls his quintet’s sound Eurocana, meaning inspiration is drawn from the string-driven sound swing created decades ago by European musicians Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli.

The George Cole Quintet’s newest CD is called Riverside Drive and it includes 12 songs, eleven written by Cole. He says he enjoys coming up with new songs that sound nostalgic.

The George Cole Quintet’s swing through Michigan starts December 27 with a 7 o’clock show at Foundry Hall in South Haven. Their final stop is New Year’s Eve at the Ionia Theatre in Ionia in a 9 p.m. performance.

War Horse

There are several new movies out this season, and two of the newest come from the same director. James Sanford has a review of the drama “War Horse” by Steven Spielberg. He says it’s “a prime slice of Oscar bait, with its spectacular battlefield scenes and major-league emotional moments.” A young Englishman develops a deep attachment to a horse named Joey, who gets sold to the cavalry when England goes to war with Germany in 1914. The movie follows Albert as he makes good on his promise to search for the horse and bring him home. It’s a war movie that is never too scary or depressing, but Sanford says it’s also a tearjerker that never really hits a viewer in the heart.