Vancouver Symphony

A Big Band Holiday with Colin James

Dates 10 December 2007@ 20.00 Venue Orpheum Theatre

Conductor Evan Mitchell Featured entertainers Colin James and The Little Big Band

Reviewer Susan Peake

Colin James was in good company on Monday night as he shared The Orpheum stage with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra under the guidance of conductor, Evan Mitchell. The VSO provided smooth background accompaniment as James and his Little Big Band rocked the room with a variety of musical styles that included jazz, soul, R & B, pop, swing and a number of holiday season classics.

From his new CD, Colin James & The Little Big Band Christmas, we were treated to "Boogie Woogie, Santa Claus," "Let it Snow" and Leon Redbone’s "Christmas Island" to name a few. Colin also sang a few of his famous hits, "Why’d You Lie," "Surely," and his most recent remake of the Van Morrison classic, "Into the Mystic." The audience was jubilant.

James and the LBB are not strangers to the stage at the Orpheum. In years gone by, they have joined the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughn (who discovered Colin), Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, and Keith Richards. Not bad company to be associated with! And this time, Colin introduced his daughter, Deghan, who sang a rendition of "Baby, It’s Cold Outside" with her dad that was delightful. It appears that the musical gene has been successfully passed to the next generation!

James’s guitar skills are among the best in the world and the audience was thrilled to enjoy so many solo segments throughout the concert. As well, the sax and trumpet solos brought rave responses from the happy listeners. The fans were not prepared to let James go, and the LBB wrapped up the second set without demanding an encore, and after a boisterous standing ovation, the band returned with more musical magic.

It was apparent that James was excited to be performing for his loving fans at The Orpheum and his likable personality shone brightly for the duration of the concert. Yet another shining example of the enormous musical talent that Canada can be proud of. Happy Holidays, indeed!

© 2007 Susan Peake