Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Last Remnant Of The Swing Revival

Yes, unfortunately, the Swing Revival is pretty much dead. Just don't tell Brian Setzer.

The artist who made the biggest waves of the mid-late 90's swing music revival with a regulation-size big band and a huge revival of Louis Prima's "Jump, Jive an' Wail" is set to tour again during the Holidays with his Christmas show. The only New Jersey stop this year is at the Count Basie Theatre on November 20. (No House of Blues this year. Sorry.)

Not only that, but Setzer is also busy wrapping up a new BSO album tentatively titled "Cuttin' Classical" (EDIT: eventually titled "Wolfgang's Big Night Out" featuring arrangements by the legendary Frank Comstock) in which the big band tackles more classical music, in the vein of "The Nutcracker Suite" (which was actually based on a Frank Comstock arrangement for Stan Kenton). Then he's going to tour with the Stray Cats. That's right - Setzer is back with Lee Rocker and Slim Jim Phantom to give you that 80's groove and the rockabilly you crave.

I've actually lost track of how many times I've seen the Brian Setzer Orchestra. I'm thinking six, the most recent of which was with Tracy at the House of Blues last December. I even went to go see them while recovering from one of my retina surgeries, in 1998. It was my first time back behind the wheel since my surgery. It's a miracle I didn't get into an accident because my driving wasn't as sharp as usual - try it with one eye and you'll see why - but the show was great and we all had such a great time it was worth the risk.

But you will enjoy the holiday shows. The Setzer group is as tight as ever with many key personnel still around like Bernie Dresel, Spazz, Rob Hioki (kickass bass trombonist) and background vocalist Julie Reiten (who, not coincidentally, is the current Mrs. Brian Setzer).

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