If any musician in town has the cred to open up a club whose name translates as voice, its Khani Cole.
The adult-contemporary soultress and her skins-playing hubby, Mike Florio, have transformed the old Leccabaffi space into Vocé Ristoranté & Lounge. In one room, theres a swanky Italian eatery. In the other, theres a plush lounge where folks can marinate their ears in the sounds of burning jazz and take-you-back soul. I want it to be warm, comfortable, and a place where something can be said onstage, says Cole.
Its most definitely that. Already during the four-week soft opening period, legends such as Joey DeFrancesco, Steve Gadd, and Dennis Rowland have been coaxed out of comfy black-leather booths to perform. And in the very near future, Cole says, the joint will showcase high-quality locals and national acts six nights a week.
Check out the grand-opening shindig featuring a quartet of Cole, Florio, Rachel Eckroth on voice/keys, and bassist Mel Brown. Knowing the way things have gone, we wouldnt be surprised if Stevie Wonder or Norah Jones rises out of the venues shadows to sit in, udig?