When I heard that the Grammy-winning prolific musician and band leader Doc Severinsen was playing the Hollywood Bowl I knew exactly where I would be on September 2, 2015. Just the mention of his name takes me back to the good old Johnny Carson days. That iconic combination of trumpet notes that signaled the beginning of each show, his amusing and playful back and forth banter with Johnny and Ed. 30 years of classic entertainment that will be embedded in our memories forever.
Donning a blue jacket with multicolored rhinestones, a purple shirt and lime green pants in typical Doc style, he showed the crowd at the Hollywood Bowl that at 88 years of age, he’s clearly still got it!
Considered one of the best trumpeters, musicians and band leaders over the last 60 years, Doc Severinsen is highly respected across classical, jazz, and big band genres. His bright tones, upbeat rhythms and masterful command of the 16 piece band are phenomenal. He seemed so at ease and comfortable on stage, shared a lighthearted quip here and there, but knew he didn’t have time to waste, so kept the music coming and the talk to a minimum.
We were treated to “Every Day I Have the Blues,” “When You’re Smiling” (a personal Tony Bennett fave of mine) and a tasty mix of bongo, drum, violin and horn solos thrown in to spotlight the tremendous talent surrounding him. The guy has endless ability, flair, wit and spunk. What’s not to love?
We were graced with 38 minutes of pure musical delight, ending with an explosive and dazzling rendition of Harry James’ “Two O’Clock Jump” that absolutely blew our socks off! Brilliant! Throwing a kiss to the crowd as he exited the stage, this cat has class! A+ performance! Only wish he was the headliner versus the opener so we could have enjoyed more time with him. Now THIS is music. Thanks Doc! See you next time around!