Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
GERSHWIN, ELLINGTON, VIENNA AND MORE...
Conductors: Doc Severinsen and Tania Miller
At the Orpheum Theatre March 2 and 3
There was a full house attendance to see that flashy, outlandish trumpeteer and conductor, Doc Severinsen last March 3rd. I'm sure it was also a full house on opening night.
Severinsen (with his quips which must have rubbed off on him during his NBC days with Johnny Carson in the "Tonight Show") really delighted an audience of mostly baby boomers (and older) with his jokes and flashy attire. In the first act, he was wearing a glittery black jacket and told the audience that he was dressed up to be the Pope's ambassador to San Francisco.
In the second half, he wore an avocado green jacket and purple pants, reminding me of the hippie days.
But there's no denying it that his craftsmanship and talent as a trumpeteer is just fabulous. His rendition of music from the big band era such as "Sentimental Mood" and Harry James' "You Made Me Love You" just brought nostalgia in the air.
On the other hand, his performance as a classic soloist as he played "Carnival of Venice" and "Ode to Joy" drew ovations of appreciation from the audience.
But the best, in my opinion, were "Gershwin Medley", a medley of Gershwin pop classics and "Duke Elegance", pieces from the great American jazz pianist Duke Ellington.
This was a memorable evening, and I think that Doc Severinsen is one of the last great trumpeteers of the Big Band Era. It was good to see him in person looking well and fit at his age.--Ed Farolan