Since bursting onto the scene with his big band in 1994, Setzer has headed the swing revival, but while many of the bands that rode that wave have all but disappeared (think Squirrel Nut Zippers or Royal Crown Revue), Setzer has kept on keeping on.
While some of his music already has a certain cheesiness its been compared to Doc Severinsens Tonight Show band with tattoos that cheese factor increases dramatically as Setzer & crew take on the holiday sounds of Irving Berlins White Christmas, Rogers and Hammersteins My Favorite Things, and everyones favorite, Youre A Mean One, Mr. Grinch. So what? The soulful saxes, punchy trumpets, and rollicking trombones make short work of any criticism.
Thats the thing with Setzers orchestra. Youre not likely to get too many surprises (though the sensitive arrangement of My Favorite Things may qualify), but youll get the most soulful, swinging, and well-played big band music out there. And while his holiday show concentrates on tunes from his two Christmas-themed CDs, theres plenty more to enjoy. Tracks like This Cats On A Hot Tin Roof, The Dirty Boogie, and his signature tune, Jump Jive & Wail get their place in the set as well.
AND... CLASSICAL SETZER?
On his most recent release, Wolfgangs Big Night Out, Setzer makes short work of classical favorites like Mozarts Eine Kleine Nachtmusic, Beethovens Fifth Symphony, and even Tchaikovskys 1812 Overture. Some of those semi-familiar tunes will surely be in the holiday set as well.
Its hard to beat the sight of a big band decked out in holiday regalia, complete with red and white (bowling?) shirts under faux leopard-skin blazers, with the backup singers in slinky little red dresses with snow-white trim. And then theres the merry bandleader, looking his lounge-lizard best.
Of course, it wouldnt mean a thing if it didnt have that swing, and Setzer and company assuredly do. Theres a reason beyond novelty that this group sells out dates across the globe; they bring the goods every night. Great arrangements, inspired performances from the entire group, and a bandleader who puts it all on the line promises concert-goers a great time.
Tickets for the 6th Annual Brian Setzer Orchestra Christmas Extravaganza, set to take place on December 8 at 8:00 p.m., are $60 and $45. For ticket information, call the casino at 1-877-442-6464 or log onto www.odawacasino.com. Also appearing will be special guests