JOOLS Holland and his excellent Rhythm and Blues Orchestra cruised into Bournemouth on the final night of their UK tour and put some real festive swing into the town’s Christmas celebrations.
In a concert that was as fun as it was superbly structured and performed, they played a set that visited, not just R&B but jazz, swing, blues, ska, soul, jump and jive and out and out rock ‘n’ roll.
And whether it was the work of Count Basie or Chuck Berry that was coming under the musical spotlight, this sublimely talented 18 piece orchestra proved once again that it can deliver in inimitable style.
With the brilliant Holland giving his usual assured but amiable direction from the piano, this was a night of virtuoso musicianship and sheer pleasure.
Featuring as ever outstanding musicians like Gilson Lavis on drums, Dave Swift on bass and Mark Flanagan – who also played an impressive support slot with his own rather tasty blues band – on guitar, Holland’s R&B orchestra is of course most notable for its blinding 12 piece brass section.
these are seriously good players - indeed every last one gets a solo spot – and Holland uses them to great effect.
With guest vocalists like the effervescent Sam Brown and the sensational soul diva Ruby Turner, the breadth and depth of sound that this outfit can deliver is quite frankly amazing.
From the opening notes to the final knees-up this was a concert that worked at all levels and, best of all one, that will be remembered with a smile.