The Brian Setzer Orchestra
jump blues, R&B, jazz, rock
Some people talk about jazz and rock as totally separate musical styles, when actually they are brothers from the same family. No band makes that fact clearer than Brian Setzer’s rowdy but tight
Orchestra. You tell, if you can, where the swinging turns into rocking, or vise versa.
“It’s totally new, but I didn’t go into this looking at it like a novelty. I knew it was musically valid”, said the former Stray Cats leader in 1990, when he started the Orchestra.
With five saxophones, four trumpets and trombones, piano, bass, drums and one very electric guitar it’s not just rock with horns, but a real big band that swings and rocks with solid roots.
Even though Setzer is known as a hot rock/R&B-guitar player, his first instrument was the euphonium, which he took up at 8 and played for 10 years. As a kid he used to sneak into the NY jazz clubs,
like Village Vanguard or Village Gate, to check out the hottest horn players. The influence of horns has been strong on his music ever since.
On their 8 very successful albums the BSO offers a tasty cocktail of classic Count Basie (whose producer Phil Ramone insisted on producing the second BSO album Guitar Slinger), the jump blues of
Louis Jordan and Setzer’s original compositions. You’ll find it hard to sip sitting down. Of course, getting classics, like Mozart, Beethoven, Grieg and many others, to swing and bop like
maniacs, Wolfgang’s Big Night Out (2007) is an album unto itself.